Friday, June 8, 2012

What is Your Spiritual Gift?

What is your spiritual gift?  I think we often make this question harder than it really should be.  If God gifted you uniquely to minister to his body, I think it is safe to assume that this gifting should be easy to discern.

Back when I was a young lad still in college, I was a Sunday school teacher, and on one particular Sunday morning we were talking about spiritual gifting.  In my head I thought, "What good is it to just talk about spiritual gifting?  I want them to know and use their own spiritual gift!"  So, I searched on-line and found one of those nifty spiritual gift tests and used that time as an opportunity for those individuals to discover their gift.

I quickly realized the flaws of a test.  The person to my right who was humble and gentle and lowly of heart, rated herself 1 out of 5 on almost every question, and according to her, she had not a single spiritual gift.  On my left side was a loud, arrogant, blow hard, and as I watched him take his test he put down a 5 out of 5 on almost every question.  According to him, he had every single spiritual gift there ever was and more!  I learned that taking a spiritual gift test requires a level of self awareness that many don't have.

Is there a better way?  One good guideline is to follow your passion.  If you really enjoy ministering in a particular way, that is probably your gift.  I have noticed, though, that sometimes I think a person is really gifted at something, and they have absolutely no passion for it.  At other times I have seen people whose passion is overflowing, but they don't have the gift set to match it, but I do think following your passion is a good start to discovering your spiritual gift(s).

I think the key, though, is to just lay back a little, and take the pressure off.  Don't over-think it.  Try a lot of things.  Find what you like and what people respond to, and ask others who might see you in a different light what they see as your spiritual gifts. It is alright to take time.

I also think that if it truly is your spiritual gift, then you have most likely been doing it all along.

I believe my main gifting is "pastor/shepherd."  As I look back at my life, I see that I was a pastor long before I was actually a paid pastor.  All the way back to my junior high and high school days I found myself caring about those around me and wanting to see them grow spiritually.  Whether that was visiting shut ins or looking for younger kids to mentor, I was pastoring my whole spiritual life, because it it is who I am.

What type of ministry do you already do?  That is probably your gifting.  If you don't do anything, then start putting your toes in the water.  If you are a believer, then God has given you a unique gift to help others.  The body isn't complete until you are using it!