Finding our spiritual gifts is something that comes up in conversations often. Just a few days ago, I sat next to a friend when she brought up spiritual gifts — and the feeling of purposelessness that kept holding her heart. It wasn’t the first time that I sat there, looking into a pair of beautiful eyes that held hopelessness beneath all the smiles and light jokes.
Our need to find a purpose for ourselves, is something that raises up from deep within us. There is the feeling that this life and all that we have in our lives is not all that we were created for. We imagine the potential, the ideal — and the weight of purposelessness is heavy on hearts when we feel like we aren’t doing anything.
What does God’s Word say about the spiritual gifts?
The Scripture passages that speak about spiritual gifts are Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:6-8)
The gifts mentioned in these passages are prophecy, service/ministering, teaching, exhortation (or encouragement), giving, leadership, mercy, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, discerning, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. This is not all that God’s Word says about the spiritual gifts, though. In 1 Corinthians 12, we are told that these gifts are given to us by the Holy Spirit. He distributes all these gifts, and He alone decides which gift (or gifts) each person should have.
It is also important for us to see that these gifts are given to us for the edification of the body of Christ. We are all members of the one body, and all of us are needed for the body of Christ to function well and in a healthy way. This is why I think it is important for us to know our gifts, so that we can pray for God to show us how to use our gifts for the edification of the church and community that we are in.
“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” (Romans 12:4-5)
Did God give me any spiritual gifts?
I believe the Holy Spirit has given each one of us at least one of those gifts, some of us a few. I think it can be hard to see our gifts ourselves. I would recommend asking about your gifts from those people who know you well. I have done this with my best friends, as I can easily name some of their gifts and they can do the same with me.
As I already mentioned, I think it is important for us to know our spiritual gifts so that we can use them. We should also be praying for God to show us how to use them in our community.
We can always pray for the Lord to give us more of the spiritual gifts. They are all God’s to give, but I honestly believe we should be praying to have more of the gifts as it delights God to see us using our gifts for the edification of the church. Ask Him to show you your gifts, and then how to use them for His glory. I’m sure He will honor this prayer.
How to find your spiritual gift
In trying to find your purpose and talents, I would ask you: what do you like doing? Singing or playing an instrument? Studying Scripture? Talking about Jesus with others in a way that they are captivated? Listening to others? Hanging out with people? Having people over at your place? Making food? Looking after and being with children? Arts, like drawing or painting or writing? Helping others practically, like cleaning or helping them with their errands? Do you know any other languages? Are you interested in people coming from other cultures? IT stuff or graphic design?
Those are all gifts and talents that can be used for the edification of the church. I am saying this because I see all of these at my church. Yes, there are those who go out to evangelize or teach or lead worship. But please don’t glorify those gifts. They are not any more important than the rest of them.
Just as important are those who take care of toddlers on Sundays so their parents can listen to the sermon or make meals for the sick or maintain the church website and make graphics for the church or clean the church or host a brother or a sister if they need a place to stay or take the time to sit down with a new believer to answer all their questions or sit by those who are hurting and comfort them or reach out and maybe even translate for those who don’t speak English or donate clothes (or make them!) for the families who don’t have much money. All of these are so important.
Friend, I am sure that God has a great purpose for you. Sometimes it can take a while to arrive there. It can take a while to see how God would like for you to use your gifts and talents. But that’s okay too. Sometimes it is like that because the right moment, the right people aren’t there yet.