Spiritual gifts relate to our lives, other people’s lives, the local church, and the body of Christ as a whole. Therefore, identifying and understanding God-given spiritual gifts should be a high priority in every Christian’s life. Let’s consider how you can benefit from knowing your own spiritual gift. Knowing your spiritual gift…
1. Knowing your spiritual gift helps you understand God’s will for your life.
Spiritual gifts are tools given by God for doing the work of the ministry. Different people are given different gifts to handle different tasks. Thus, if God gives you a hammer, He wants you to drive nails, not cut boards. If He wanted you to cut boards, He would have given you a saw rather than a hammer. Understanding your gift in light of this principle will enable you to make decisions as to where to serve God, how to serve God, and in many cases, help you choose your occupation. But in all cases it will help you set priorities for your life.
What God has called you to do He has gifted you to do, and what He has gifted you to do He has called you to do.
2. Knowing your spiritual gift helps you understand how the Holy Spirit works through you.
1 Corinthians 3:9 says, “For we are laborers together with God.” This division of labor is simply stated, God will not do what he has called you to do and you cannot do what God has reserved for Himself to do. God works through his children to accomplish His work here on earth. When you use the spiritual gift given you by God, allowing God to minister through you, you literally become co-laborer with God.
3. Knowing your spiritual gift helps you know what God has not called you to do.
After selling my business of fourteen years, selling my home, moving my wife and three children 300 miles away to prepare for the ministry, probably the greatest discovery I ever made was that God had not called me to become a pastor.
The more I understand what God has not called me to do, the more I understand what He has called me to do. No doubt, recognizing what you are not supposed to do can be as important as recognizing what you are to do. If you realize God has not given you the gift of “mercy,” you can easily turn down a position that would require that gift, without worrying that you might miss God’s call. The same is true with all the gifts.
4. Knowing your spiritual gift relieves you from serving out of duty.
If the truth were known, many active church workers have no business doing what they are doing. They are only doing it because the pastor asked them to, a committee elected them, or they feel obligated to do something; but are not serving where they were gifted.
Christians have many reasons for serving in areas that keep them busy but not fulfilled. It boils down to this; many serve out of duty instead of God’s calling. When you use the gift God has given you, you will be able to operate at maximum fulfillment with minimum frustration – and will find the true area for which God has gifted.
5. Knowing your spiritual gift fills a deep inner need.
Have you ever visited a hospital? You may have met the mean old nurse who bites your head off every time you sit on a patient’s bed. But overall, a hospital is a place where you find a staff of people who are getting more fulfillment out of life than the average person. Why? Because they are in the “people-serving business.” They are willing to wrap their lives in the lives of other people. They are meeting an inner need that God has put into the souls of all men, Christians and non-Christians alike. Your spiritual gift will complement this inner need God has placed in you.
6. Knowing your spiritual gift builds unity among Christians.
When you understand the characteristics of spiritual gifts, you see how gifts influence your desires, motivation, and behavior. You will begin to realize why other people do not always see things, or react to situations, the same as you would. It’s all part of God’s plan. The different gifts complement each other.
Understanding spiritual gifts will prevent you from imposing your gift or lifestyle on others and will help you recognize God’s individual calling for your life. Unfortunately, too many Christians are living God’s will for someone else’s life rather than their own.
7. Knowing your spiritual gift equips you to fulfill God’s purpose for you life.
God has created each one of us uniquely different. He has given us different gifts, talents, personalities, temperaments, and passions to outfit us to accomplish His unique purpose for each of us. True significance in life comes when we discover that purpose and calling and use them in our careers and ministries. It has been said, career is what you are paid for; calling is what you are made for.
8. Knowing your spiritual gift adds to your self-acceptance.
Recently, a man who had just discovered his spiritual gift said, “I love to teach, and I teach every chance I get – I’ve never done anything in the church but teach. I really don’t want to do anything but teach – nor do I intend to do anything but teach. If I go for any period of time without teaching, I become irritable and hard to get along with. I’ve taught for years, but you know something – for the first time in my life I don’t feel guilty because I’m not a pastor.”
Undue guilt is the greatest weapon Satan uses to keep Christians from living up to their potential. Many believers consider themselves unspiritual because they can’t live up to someone else’s expectations. Trying to live up to others’ expectations of you always equals failure if your expectations are not in line with what God expects of you. Think of the greatest Christian you know. Now consider this: God has called you to do what this person cannot do. Your God has given you a special endowment that suits you perfectly for your special position on His “team.”
Your challenge is to do as commanded in 2 Timothy 1:6, “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you” and equipped you.
Dr. Larry Gilbert is founder and chairman of Ephesians Four Ministries, and founder of ChurchGrowth.org. For more on spiritual gifts, see Dr. Gilbert’s books from which this article was excerpted Your Gifts: Discover God’s Unique Design for You (for individuals and small groups) and Team Ministry: Gifted to Serve (for pastors and group leaders) published by ChurchGrowth.org Copyright © 2015 ChurchGrowth.org. Other Team Ministry spiritual gifts resources are shown below, including the Your Gifts Spiritual Gifts Survey. For a free online Spiritual Gifts Survey, click here
Here are more free articles, one for each of the nine Team Ministry Spiritual Gifts…
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Shepherding?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Administration?
Each of these nine Team Ministry Spiritual Gift articles was excerpted from the book Your Gifts: Discover God’s Unique Design for You.
Discover more about your spiritual gifts and each of the nine team gifts.
For individuals and groups.
Lead others to discover their spiritual gifts.
For pastors and group leaders.