I was recently asked if I had ever taken the spiritual gifts test. Spiritual gifts are given to Christians after they accept Jesus Christ. Everyone has at least one gift, and some have more than one.
I hadn’t really heard much about them growing up. The only things I ever heard was “Everyone has gifts!” and “Charismatic people are wrong!” I found that both are a little bit true, and a little bit off.
Romans 12:1-2, “1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (NKJV)
This tells me that I need to be living in a way that is honoring to God, and keeping my mind fresh and renewed from the things of this world that might drag me down. In doing so, I then open to doing the will of God, rather than doing my own will and wrong doings.
Paul continues teaching us that we need to stay in tune to God and that the body of Christ has many parts.
Romans 12:3-5, “3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” (NKJV)
The analogy to a “body” is one that we can relate to as humans. Our body is more than just one arm, or two legs, or just a brain. Everything is attached, working together, to accomplish the tasks that we need it to do. If we break an arm or a leg, we’re hindered.
The same is true of the body of Christ. If one part isn’t operating properly, the rest will struggle. We all have different talents, roles, and gifts. In the sense of gifts, we should be using those unique gifts to operate our piece of the body.
Romans 12:6-8, “6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (NKJV)
Paul then takes us through the first few spiritual gifts. He’s intentional in his writing to us that we need to be intentional with our gifts. If we have the gift of teaching, we need to teach. If our gift is ministry, then we need to minster. If our gift is serving, we need to serve.
Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people starts with being proactive. Dave Ramsey teaches that to get your finances under control you need to be intentional. So here does Paul teach through words that we should be intentional and go out and put our gifts to work, rather than waiting for them to come and get us. They’re already in you and part of your life. Why not make something happen with them?
As you start to explore your spiritual gifts, you first need to discover what they are. There are several tests and books out there to help you. My favorite author on the topic is C Peter Wagner and his book called “Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow“. You need to get in word, and pray about them.
Once you start to discover what your gifts are, think about the things you’re drawn too. Do they relate? I found mine did, and it explained a lot about another “strengths” test I had taken for work. From there you can start to do your part in the body of Christ, and accomplish good things.
Discovering your spiritual gifts can be enlightening, but you have to make sure you’re not confusing gifts with your personal goals and desires. You aren’t going to have certain gifts just because you want them. Pray heavily asking the holy spirit to reveal your gifts. Read scripture. Talk to your Pastor, friends, relatives, etc. Take a spiritual gift test. In the end, you may even need to fast on it. Ask God to help you recognize your gifts, and where he wants you to use them.
Spiritual Gifts are just that. Gifts. Take then without question and put them to work.
For more on the Spiritual Gifts, see 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4.