Many times I feel like “what talent do I have,” “what am I good at,” and “what do I have to offer?” Not with self pity but with true questioning because many people can sing or dance, sew, or do hair. There was not one thing that I was good.
Looking in retrospect, I always had an interest in one thing: writing. When I was in middle school I was in the schools news paper and I was in charge of the advice column. I absolutely loved writing in the school’s newspaper and it began my passion and desire to be a news anchor. When I was in high school, I joined the book club and loved encouraging others to read. In the early days of Facebook, I remember it having a section for notes or journaling and you could make it visible to others. I remember writing stories, and thoughts. Then when I became privy to WordPress, in my last year of high school going into college, I started a WordPress blog. In college I began the campus’ first Bible study club and I would send out daily encouragement emails to the entire club.
When things got tough in my life I didn’t want to crawl in a bubble , I wanted to help others. When I was most depressed, even suicidal, I went to homeless shelters, gave out food, created blog posts encouragements, or donated my time or money to people in need. I figured that I was going through a lot but there was always another person going through so much more.
Through all that I still questioned, what I was good at, I thought I was just doing what people should do. It was not until I studied at Bible school for a few years that I learned that God actually gives us gifts. I learned that there are spiritual Gifts that we have one or more of. It was then when I Stopped questioning.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8 NIV
In Romans we see there is the gift of prophecy, service , teaching, encouragement, giving, leadership, and mercy. Every single one of these gifts work to edify the body of Christ .
Prophecy – speaks truth and wisdom to a person or the body of Christ, or to speak about future events in order to build up the body and bring them closer to God.
Service– ability and desire to physically be a helping hand
Teaching– ability to easily explain scripture in ways that everyone can understand
Encouragement– ability to motivate others
Giving – sometimes this is called pay master in the body of Christ . This is the ability to meet the needs of others financially.
Leadership– ability to guide and direct others in their walk with God
Mercy– ability to help others going through a tough time without expecting anything in return.
When I read this I immediately felt at ease because teaching and encouragement is something I am good at and love doing . As Christians, once we realize what our spiritual gifts are we must begin exercising that.
Many times when I feel like I’m doing nothing with my life or I feel unsuccessful , it is because I have been deliberately ignoring my gifts. When we walk in line with the gifts God gave us we begin to feel fulfilled and our purpose begins to unfold.
Pray over that list and ask God to Reveal your spiritual gifts. If you already have an idea of what it is, pray anyway and ask God how he wants you to use it or begin to walk in it.
You do not have to be a leader in the church to exercise your spiritual gifts. If you are a nurse and your spiritual gift is encouragement, you can encourage your patients. If you are a librarian and your gift is giving, you may see a young kid who always comes to the library who is in need of shoes and you buy it for him.
We can exercise these gifts everyday through all of our daily actions, not just In church. We have to remember that when we walk in our gifts, love has to be in the center of it all. It becomes extremely hard to Walk in the gifts God gave us if we are not spending time with the one who gave us those gifts. We receive power, strength, inspiration, wisdom, knowledge , and love from God. So we cannot adequately and fully walk in our gifts until we walk with God daily meaning spend time in the word and spend time in prayer.
Take some time this week to review the list and read Romans 12. Remember to glorify God in all that you do.
Disclaimer: There are also spiritual gifts outlined in Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12 but that will be discussed another day.