What are spiritual gifts?

Crystal Cox

What do you have to offer?

I love the story of the little boy who shared his five loaves and two fish with Jesus. John 6 tells us Jesus took the boy’s meal and fed thousands of people with it.

Sometimes I feel like that little boy; maybe that’s why I love the story so much. I feel what I have to offer is small. I’ll admit sometimes I haven’t even been sure what I have to offer. The truth is, like that little boy, all followers of Jesus have something to offer. God gives each a spiritual gift. When we offer that gift for His use, He does more with it than we could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

What Is a Spiritual Gift?

A spiritual gift is an ability God gives to enable us to serve other people.

Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 describe the gifts given by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:12-13 explains we serve others with our gift, “so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

Spiritual gifts are given by God to unify, teach us about Jesus, and help us mature together.

Spiritual gifts are given by God to unify, teach us about Jesus, and help us mature together.

What Is My Spiritual Gift?

There are a variety of spiritual gifts, but each is important. “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16). Notice that each part is needed just like each part of a body is needed. If I stub my toe, I learn quickly that I need a healthy toe for my brain to even function at its best. Likewise, each follower of Christ needs the others for the body to function the way God intends.

Because spiritual gifts are given to build up the people of God, the best place to discover your gift is in the local church. Here you will find many opportunities to serve. Among other Christ followers, you can use your gift to help others grow spiritually and together create an environment that points people to Jesus.

There are so many tests and pieces of advice on how to know your spiritual gift. I discovered mine by asking some simple questions.

  • What am I passionate about?
  • What moves my heart?
  • What do I enjoy doing?

How To Use Your Spiritual Gift

I have been gifted with mercy. I feel deeply for the pain of others and want to help. There are many areas I could serve in the church to show mercy.

Your gift may lend itself to many different areas of service as well. That may mean you use your gift in one area a while and then in another later. That is OK. You may think you are gifted in one area and then find you are not. That is OK, too. 1 Corinthians 15:58 reminds us that nothing we do for Jesus is in vain. God will always use our time serving His people to affect lives and teach us.

The body of Christ needs your spiritual gift. If you haven’t already, ask yourself the simple questions above. Find a place to use your spiritual gift and see how God uses what you have to do amazing things.

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