Today's post is by contributor Diana Jones.
When I was younger, I tended to see myself with glasses that were much too dirty. When I looked at myself, all I saw was a flawed being. Someone who didn’t have much to offer especially after making so many mistakes. When I developed a relationship with Jesus, read His Word, and let it permeate from the inside out, I realized that I had come into agreement with lies about my worth. The truth is that I’m a gift and have specific gifts that I can use to glorify God and bless others.
What is a gift?
The dictionary’s definition of a gift is something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without it being earned. It is also a special abilty or capacity, natural endowment, and/or talent.
The Bible’s explanation of spiritual gifts based on 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 says, There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. (King James)
How to Determine Our Spiritual Gifts
Once I learned that I had God-given gifts, the next step was to find out what they were so I would be able to identify, nurture, and use them for God’s glory. There are several ways to help identify spiritual gifts, including books, teachings, and questionnaires. Throughout the years, I have read books on the subject and taken a some questionnaires. A couple of years ago, however, I wanted to see if my life was on course with my gifts. Were my time and priorities lining up? I found an online spiritual gifts assessment tool that was helpful. If you decide to take this online assessment, the results will lie in the following gift buckets: evangelism, prophecy, teaching, exhortation, pastor/shepherd, showing mercy, serving, giving, and administration. Please note, these types of assessments will give you a good idea of your giftings, but are not 100% conclusive.
My results showed that my primary gift was that of pastor/shepherd. Someone who shepherds people has a Holy Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by overseeing, training, and caring for the needs of a person or a group of people. I love to share my testimony of God’s love and truth on a one-on-one basis with friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. Receiving the results of this assessment just confirmed that I was using one of the gifts God has blessed me with, to bless others.
Is Your Gift Good Enough?
As I mentioned earlier, when I was younger, I struggled with accepting myself for who I was after making so many mistakes in my life. Had I taken a spiritual gifts assessment back then, I probably would have diminished my gifts by comparing them to others’. If you decide to explore how you’ve been personally gifted, you might be tempted to do the same. I want to say to you right now…don’t go down that road! You are an important part of God’s family. Your life--what you do with your life and how you bless other--is an essential part of God’s ultimate purpose and plan for you. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12 that in Christ, we are all part of one body, but that body has many parts and each part is needed so the body can function. You are an integral part of making the whole body function effectively. Furthermore, the Bible says this about the topic:
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? 1 Corinthians 12: 15-19
I was encourgaged to continue to nurture this shepherding gift by sharing my faith with new people, knowing that I am doing what God gifted me to do. Based on the results of the exploration of your spiritual gifts, pray about what you can do to nurture or learn more about your gifting and celebrate your uniqueness because:
“God has bestowed upon YOU a special ability unique to you, a natural endowment and talent that you have made no effort to earn, but that will benefit and bless others”!
Have you taken a spiritual gifts assessment? Do you think it was correct? What are your spiritual gifts? Let us know HERE.
Diana Jones is a compassionate wife, mother, grandmother and friend.
She is passionate about sharing God's love and all that He has done throughout her life. She is also looking for opportunities to grow spiritually through reading, prayer, singing and being in fellowship with others. She is thankful for the opportunity share her stories here at Circles of Faith.