Are you struggling to determine whether you have spiritual gifts? Or perhaps you’re working with people who are convinced they have zero gifts. They may have a sense of frustration… or worse, a sense of worthlessness because they see others so clearly using their gifts.
How can we determine gifts and get ourselves and others on track to use them in life-giving ways?
As promised, this is the first in a series of Friday leadership posts designed to help people engage in their faith walk. Today is “S” day: the Spiritual Gifts. For those who say “I don’t have one,” you’ll have to argue with Peter!
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” (1 Pet 4:10 NLT)
Before you throw your hands up in despair, try these 4 steps to help identify and start using your gift(s):
…often… and frequently. It doesn’t make any sense to me that God would give you a gift and then refuse to talk with you about it. Gifts may not be readily apparent to us, but the searching and the talking with God to discover what we truly are make that gift all the more precious when we discover it.
Gifts are also fueled by The Holy Spirit, so if your gift isn’t running, check your gas tank. Have you prayed lately?
2. Become a Student of Others
… not to copy them… and not to admire them, but to learn what resonates with you.
When we admire others while searching for our spiritual gifts, we run the risk of envy, or trying to become something we’re not wired to become.
Rather, pay attention to what resonates with you. By resonate, I mean you feel you have found a kindred spirit... then observe, interview, or do whatever it takes to find out what their spiritual gift is. If it has resonated, it might just be your gift too.
3. Become a Student of Yourself
… but not by yourself! Ask around for a good mentor. Pick someone who will speak truth, not platitudes. Platitudes make us feel better. Truth makes us, in fact, better (if spoken in love and for the purpose of building us up).
You can also take a variety of inventories that will help you identify your gifts. Googling “Spiritual Gift Inventories” will give you more opportunities than you have time to handle! Or, check out the links at the bottom of this post.
Here’s the deal: Only as an individual do you receive gifts, but only in community do you find their purpose. Many people never try to actually use their gifts for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they’re afraid, or lack confidence, or are simply trying to avoid God’s call on their life.
The point is, we don’t know what truly resonates until we try. So what if we get it wrong on the first few (hundred) attempts? At least we’ll know one more thing it isn’t!
Think of this like learning to ride a bike. Did you hop right on and take off down the road? Unless you were a child prodigy, I’ll bet there were some spills, some adjustments, a few bandaids and kisses from Mom… but you got up and tried again.
No one said this would be easy. But that’s not the point… the point is it’s worth it.
It’s worth it because we are finally doing what we were created to do. Not only will you find purpose and meaning… you will be serving and honoring the Most High God.
And there is nothing under the sun better than that!
How have you identified Spiritual Gifts? What other suggestions would you have for others who are searching to identify their gifts? Your comments can help others find purpose and meaning!