Bible Study Christian Living Doctrine

Spiritual Gifts: I’m NOT gifted in that!

Spiritual Gifts
Written by Patti Greene

Have you ever taken a spiritual gifts inventory survey? They are surveys that help define where you are best-suited to serve in the body of Christ. Whenever I take these surveys – and I have taken plenty of them – I find myself scoring consistently high in certain areas and scoring consistently low in other areas. Through my survey results, I have come to understand that God has fashioned and knit me together just how He wants me to be by the gifts He has bestowed upon me.

But, I have also learned that just because I score low in some areas, God may still choose to use me in those areas that I just don’t feel comfortable, capable, or even care to be involved in.

While the main thrust of this blog is not to teach about specific spiritual gifts, I want to show you how we can operate and be used by the Lord outside of our high-scoring spiritual gifts.

But, what are the spiritual gifts? The major spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible that can be used effectively by believers within the church are:

Leadership
Administration
Teaching
Knowledge
Prophecy
Discernment
Exhortation
Shepherding
Faith
Evangelism
Apostleship
Service/Helps
Mercy
Giving
Hospitality*

If you would like more information about discovering your spiritual gifts; what specific gifts encompass; and take a spiritual gift survey, please click on the link below by Lifeway Christian Resource. There is nothing like knowing what your spiritual gift(s) are. Knowing creates peace: It creates confidence: And it creates the knowledge that God knows exactly what He is doing in our lives.

http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/files/lwcF_PDF_Discover_Your_Spiritual_Gifts.pdf

Sharing the truth about our gifting is tough. We don’t want to sound proud and righteous if we possess certain gifts. On the other hand, we hate to admit that we have a very hard time working within the reins of other gifts. In school, most of us want to score high in every subject, but spiritual gifts don’t work that way. In a true confession, I share that I am consistently low in the gift of the Service/Helps ministry.  Maybe that is because I don’t particularly like to cook. So if you are sick, please be happy I have given you a McDonald’s gift card instead of trying to make you a gourmet meal! Or maybe it is because I live in a state of fatigue and serving requires energy. I just don’t know.

But, even though I score low in this area, I recognize that God still wants me to serve and help my friends, family, and the body of Christ. It is important to understand God can and will use you outside of the realm of your spiritual gifts. You are not required to operate only in your high scoring gifts.

Periodically, we are asked to step out of our comfort zone. I like animals, but I am not a huge animal lover. But one day, I was truly impressed to take a friend to the vet to comfort her as she experienced the tough decision to put her dog down. Not my comfort zone, but God used me. And, I was totally blessed being with her during this sad time in her life.

When God leads you or I on a mission outside of your gifting, think of it as the Lord stretching us through the Holy Spirit. When God sets us apart for a mission, He can use any gift or personality trait to fulfill His purposes. The Lord will walk beside us empowering us to fulfill His goal. I find it so exciting and adventurous to see the new and sometimes bizarre ways God might use me, like the time I witnessed to a Buddhist only to be told they could not except the Lord because their relatives were on the mantle (in a jar)! Let’s approach our life with the attitude that we are ready to be used by the Lord in whatever area He wants to use us.

Sometimes we are on receiving end of gracious acts of service or help from others. Sometimes we aren’t. I have experienced both and benefited from both. I was once in a position where I was ostracized without a real or tangible explanation of why. I went through speculation, hurt feelings, anger, and loneliness. I was particularly hurt because the criticism came from fellow believers. It was a tough time and it stayed with me for a long time. Even today, 20 years later, I think about it. At the time, I remember wishing someone (a real human being, besides my husband) was walking this road with me. However, God allowed me to walk through this experience alone. I was alone with my feelings and emotions – with only God to talk to. I didn’t like going thorough those emotions by myself. None of us like suffering alone. But, that experience has made me more sensitive to the sufferings and ill-treatment of others. It has given me a little more “Discerning Smarts” to recognize someone who is inwardly suffering or needs some help.

We all need encouragement at times in our lives: Some more than others.

While serving and helping is tough for me, I need reminders on how to do it. As I share some tips on how we can help others, think of the people you know. Maybe you are desperately in need of help from others right now. Or maybe it’s time for you to help someone else.

How to Serve and Help Others

  • Be practical.

Ask yourself what you can practically do to help others. Can you bring a meal? Can you take their child to soccer practice? Can you make some calls? Usually, people don’t want to be an imposition on others, but use your judgment and try to put yourself in their shoes to see what you can do or offer. I have found rather than saying, “Call me if you need anything,” it is better to say, “I’m stopping by the grocery store and I can pick up some groceries for you. What do you need?”

  • Be there.

Maybe a person just needs someone to listen to them. It is amazing how we can help by just listening. We don’t even have to respond. I think Job’s friends would have been a lot better off in the “Service/Helps Department” if they just listened to Job instead of feeling they had to point out his failures and inconsistences.

  • Be kind and patient.

Recently my husband broke 6 ribs (in 2 places each) – OUCH! Believe me, there is a reason I am not a nurse. Just being in the hospital made me nauseous a few times. The smells, sounds, and sights in the hospital were not my cup of tea and a few gags occurred in my system!

While recuperating, I had to put my husband socks on his feet. I had to pick up everything he dropped. I had to help him put his arm in his shirt and jacket. But, I didn’t mind, because I love him!

You may encounter similar events like this. If so, give your time, love, kindness, and patience to the needed recipient.

Remember also that it takes time to heal – whether healing is in the area of physical, emotional, or spiritual healing.

  • Be an encouragement.

Encouragement can come in many forms. It can be a timely note or a phone call. It can be giving hope or security. Just ask the Lord how you can encourage those He brings in your path. He will show you. To use an old cliché, “You may be the only Jesus someone sees.” Think about how Jesus would encourage those in need, then as Nike says, “Just do it.”
God may not call you to help in every situation you encounter. But, if God is giving you the ‘holy hunch’ to be involved in a person’s life, take the role with enthusiasm and thankfulness! And see where God leads it.

You may not be called to use your top level gifts in every situation, but go with His leading. Whatever it is, let Him have His way with you. Let’s praise God for whatever He chooses to do with our lives.
Like vocalist Darlene Zschech sings in I give you my Life, let’s give the Lord all of our life without limiting our service to Him and see what He can do.

I give you my Life by Darlene Zschech

This is my desire, to honor You
Lord, with all my heart I worship You
All I have within me, I give You praise
All that I adore is in You

Lord, I give You my heart
I give You my soul, I live for You alone
Every breath that I take, every moment I’m awake
Lord have Your way in me

Lord, I give You my heart

I give You my soul, I live for You alone
Every breath that I take, every moment I’m awake
Lord have Your way in me

Bible Verses:

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 ESV

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:  whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV

Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
Matthew 25:44-45 ESV

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Romans 12:6-8 ESV

Prayer:

Thank you Lord for creating me exactly how you wanted me to be. Thank you for using me for Your glory. Lord, show me areas where I can grow. Lead me to people I can help. Let me recognize your leadership in my life. Allow me to always give glory and honor to your Name. Amen.

God Bless You.
Patti Greene

*The gift of tongues is excluded from this blog as we are concentrating on the major gifts used within the church body.

And don’t forget COMMENTS are always welcome!

Books by Patti Londa Greene Awaken Me: a devotional prayer journal and God, It’s Me: 181 Days for Young Adults to Become Passionate about Prayer and Bible Study

Bibliography

Fischer, Sharon. “What to do when you don’t know what to do.” Worldwide Challenge, June 1983.“Spiritual Gifts Survey.” Lifeway Christian Resources. (2003). Web 5 July 2015.

<http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/files/lwcF_PDF_Discover_Your_Spiritual_Gifts.pdf>.

Zscheck, Darlene. “I give you my heart.” <http://www.songlyrics.com/darlene-zschech/i-give-you-my-heart-lyrics. 3 July 2015>.

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About the author

Patti Greene

Patti Greene is the author of two outstanding devotional prayer journals: Awaken Me and Anchor Me. Her 43-years of personal prayer journaling experience inspire others to incorporate Bible study and prayer in their daily walk with the Lord. Greene’s graduate studies include religious education and library science. When not writing books or blogs, Patti spends her time reading, researching, traveling, and going out to lunch with friends and family. Patti and her husband, John, have three adult children and five grandchildren. They make their home in Houston, Texas. You can visit her at www.PattiGreene.com.

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