Have you ever been put in a box? Been challenged for something that made you different?
Have you ever felt lost because you weren’t like the people you admired?
Have you ever struggled with finding mentors for you, since you couldn’t find one like you?
Growing up, I had a hard time finding where I fit. If you’ve been following us on this journey in Finding Your Voice, you’ve heard a lot of my story so far. (Scroll back to Days 1-5 to read more)
We all have moments where we wish God had made us differently. And yet, He says that He made us PERFECT in His image! (Genesis 1:27) Bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh. (Ephesians 5:30) So… why do we doubt that He made us such a beautiful and purposefully intended creation?
This week, I’d like to dive into the basics of spiritual gifts, to empower you that God created you for an exact purpose, and to feel confident that your gifts will make an amazing plan, purpose, and destiny for you! (Ephesians 1:11) They’re devotionals that are a little longer than usual, and will most definitely challenge you. But that’s how we grow! I’m delighted to see what you learn about yourself and your God because of it!
So what is a spiritual gift? Great question!
According to scripture, spiritual gifts, or in the Greek, “charisma,” are supernatural graces which individual Christians need (and which were needed in the days of the Apostles) to fulfill the mission of the Church. In the narrowest sense, it is a theological term for the extraordinary graces given to individual Christians for the good of others and is distinguished from the graces given for personal sanctification, such as the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
What are they? Also known as the “charismatic gifts,” they include, but are not limited to: words of knowledge, increased faith, the gifts of healing, the gift of miracles, prophecy, the discernment of spirits, diverse kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues.
However, the gifts aren’t limited to just these. More on that later.
So why does this matter?
Knowing the gifts inside of you is helpful for a myriad of reasons, the first being that it gives us a sense of identity and purpose. Knowing that God, when He created you, endowed you with distinct spiritual gifts to aid you in your life and in your ministering to others, is pretty cool to think about! Regardless of whether you’re called to ministry as a profession, we can all minister! We can all use our unique gifts to be a blessing to others, and we should!
So what’s our responsibility? To become mature in our faith, and along with that, our gifts. God encourages us to be good stewards of everything we have in life. Oftentimes we think of the basics — our money, our relationships, our words. But just as important, we have a responsibility to build ourselves up in our spiritual gifts so we can be a blessing to the world! Think of it as the difference between practicing swinging a golf club once, or 10,000 times. I think the latter has a higher chance of success, don’t you?
Tomorrow, we’ll go more in depth regarding each of these gifts, and after, we’ll unveil even more of them! The important thing to know is that you, yes you, have gifts! And we’re going to discover them together!
Unfortunately, sometimes it’s taught in the church that if someone doesn’t carry a five-fold ministry gift, (see Day 35), they’re less of a human. I’m excited to tell you that this is both unbiblical and also in direct opposition to the nature of our King Jesus while on earth.
Whether He was honoring the widow with two mites who gave all she had to sow into the Kingdom, (Luke 21:1-4) describing her as giving more than a rich man, or whether it was admiring Mary in the kitchen for sitting humbly at His feet, (Luke 10: 38-42) Jesus always called out the goodness of each character trait, regardless of whether it was on a platform, rich, famous, or even noticed by anyone else.
HOW MANY GIFTS DO I HAVE?
- Each of us are endowed with spiritual gifts that are given to us by God.
- Some of us can operate in several gifts, and some may feel strongly about only one or a few.
- Most importantly, everyone is “gifted” in some manner with a natural pull and inclination to them. In fact, that’s a great way to begin discovering what yours might be, is asking yourself “what comes naturally to me?”
- Some Examples:
- Gift of Intercession and Prayer
- Gift of Empathy & Care
- Gift of Administration
- Gift of Helps
- Gift of Hospitality
- Gift of Music
- Gift of Craftsmanship
- And many others!
For today, here are the baseline scriptures that discuss gifts for your study.
- Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 1 Corinthians 12:28-30, 1 Corinthians 14:1, Ephesians 4:11, and 1 Peter 4:11.
See you tomorrow,