Years ago I did a spiritual gifts inventory. My gifts were faith, mercy and leadership, in that order. After learning my gifts I realized it was what I enjoyed doing anyway - I was starting Sunday school classes and ladies groups. Knowing what my gifts were, I knew I was doing what God wanted me to do and it also gave me confidence since I was out of my comfort zone. Later I would write and lead women’s retreats which, again, were my spiritual gifts. I heard someone mention that we should do spiritual gift inventories every so many years because our gifts change. I took the test again, recently, and my spiritual gifts did change. Faith and discernment went to number three. Number one was “giving” and three came in at number two. They were evangelism, shepherding and exhortation.
Evangelism “is the ability to communicate the gospel to unchurched persons in ways that move them to become disciples of Jesus”. This one thrilled me because I love sharing the gospel and I know God has sent me on a mission to do just that. I believe He has been preparing me for my next steps with this. Exhortation is “the ability to offer encouragement…” I write a daily blog because I feel people need encouragement! Shepherding/Pastoring is the ability to nurture, tend, and lead people in the ongoing development of their discipleship. The gifts that I previously had have prepared me to use these additional gifts I now have. It also gives me confidence, knowing that God will give me what I need to accomplish His plan. God has a purpose for our life and our spiritual gifts are the equipment he gives us to do what He asks us to do. Jeremiah 29: 11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
There are different spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them and every gift has the potential to be world-changing! Paul taught us in 1 Corinthians 12: 4-6, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” All gifts are made possible through the work of the Holy Spirit. The gifts in Ephesians 4 11-13, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
How do we expect the church to show God’s love and power through society if we do not recognize and fulfill our gifts! 1 Peter 4: 10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” Churches need us, individually, to do what we were designed to do.
Paul talks about having a gift in Romans 12: 6, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith…” He tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4: 14, “Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.” A gift can be taken away if a person neglects their gift. The gift is not for your benefit, it is for the benefit of others. Just as other’s gifts will benefit you! When you find your spiritual gift, God will give you an opportunity to use it!
Do you know what your gift is? Have you ever asked yourself this question: What is the gift God has given to me since I became a Christian? You can go to Spiritual Gifts Inventory by G. Christine Harman, Ed.D. online. Your spiritual gift is a gift from God. What you do with it is your gift back to God.