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. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good." (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
Verse 7 makes it clear that each of us has been given spiritual gifts. The verses don't say that we were all given the SAME gift. The verses say that there are DIFFERENT kinds of gifts and service. Thank goodness we are all not gifted with the same gifts. Can you imagine if we were ALL gifted with leadership? I can't even imagine the conflicts that would bring!
Do you know what your spiritual gift(s) is? You can take this simple survery here to find out. We have been given spiritual gifts "to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up." (Ephesians 4:12)
It is important to know the areas of gifting you have for so many reasons:
1) To Know Your Best Area(s) of Service: When we are serving where our spiritual gifts best fit, we are most effective. We may serve in other areas and do well, but we only have a short time here on Earth. I want to make the most of my time here and glorify God in the way He designed.
2) To Understand Our Relationships: Just like understanding our love languages, it is important to understand the spiritual gifts of those whom we are in a relationship with. It will help us better understand their thinking processes, why they do certain things, and why they are pulled in certain directions.
3) To Focus Your Growth: As we grow and mature, we want to do that in the most effective way possible. There are thousands of self-help and information-filled books out there. We can take a multitude of different courses. We could spend hours trying to grow in so many different ways. While we SHOULD be growing as a whole, it is helpful to focus our growth on the areas of strength (your gifts) to reach people best for Christ and encourage others. For example, I have not been blessed with the gift of hospitality, but one of the gifts I have is teaching. Right now, I only have a small amount of time each day to focus on growth. I could spend that time pinning about ways to make others more welcome in my home, or I could be taking courses or reading how to be a more effective speaker and writer. Honestly, it brings me so much more joy to be learning how to use my unique gifts more than someone else's. (Although I do take a few moments to pin pins about hospitality, just in case someone is brave enough to come over for dinner!)
This week, I urge you to discover your spiritual gifts. Once you have done this, spend time in prayer asking God how you can use your gifts to glorify Him. It is one thing to pray and listen for His answer, and it is another to actually listen and obey Him. Once you are given your answer as to how and where to serve, it is then your responsibility to follow through and do what He has called you to do. We will discuss more about what that might look like on Friday's blog post.