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What are Spiritual Gifts?
Spiritual gifts are a set of specific God-given talents, skills, and abilities that equip us to be an active part of bringing His Kingdom of Heaven to earth. All of our talents, skills, and giftings come from God. Both our natural and spiritual gifts are a reflection of the Creator and evidence that we are made in His image. And often, our spiritual gifts will be similar to our natural talents and passions. But while we are born with natural gifting, our Spiritual Gifts are given to us when we embrace a new life in Christ and begin to live as our new self. They are a gift from Christ and enabled by the Holy Spirit to do the work that God has uniquely designed for you. While the gifts can vary based on different sections of scripture or different interpretations, generally the list includes:
Being an apostle
Speaking in tongues
Why Have Different Gifts?
Only God has the capacity to carry all of these gifts to their fullest potential. So in His grace, He blesses us with a few and calls us to work with others who have different gifts, so together we can manifest the fullness of His Spirit even within our limits as humans.
In Romans 12 we learn that we are all members of the same body. Just like a human body would not benefit by having all of one body part and none of another, the body of Christ (the church) requires a diversity of members to run smoothly, serve well, and spread the Good News. Another analogy would be to think of an orchestra. An orchestra wouldn’t work well if everyone showed up with the same instrument. It would cease to be an orchestra. Similarly, if all of the instruments of the orchestra played the same note, it would lose the beauty of the harmonizing music.
It’s important to note that these gifts are not intended for personal gain, prestige, or indulgence. They are meant to benefit our community, and create something pleasing to God Himself. Additionally, no one gift is worth more or less than any other, especially when it comes to the impact they have in God’s Kingdom. It is a great joy to live in alignment with how we were created, no matter what that looks like!
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” – Ephesians 4:11-12
How Do I Know What My Spiritual Gifts Are?
The bible talks about spiritual gifts in many different sections. You can start in 1 Corinthians 12-14 to get an overview of Paul’s teaching about gifts. There are also many assessments online to help point you towards your giftings. We recommend www.giftstest.com, but you can take any that look meaningful to you. And as always, it is helpful to talk with fellow believers who know you well, as they may see things in you that you haven’t seen yet, or confirm things you’re unsure about.
Wherever you end up exploring, remember that it is God who gave these gifts. So be praying as you discover things; ask God to confirm what you’re learning about yourself and continue to guide you towards His Truth in your life.