This week’s question was sent to me via email by my own daughter, but the following discussion applies to all Christians:
I’m filling out a student missions application and got stuck on “List the spiritual gifts God has given you and how you believe they may be used in your ministry.”
What ARE my spiritual gifts, Mom? We don’t really talk about this much…
We haven’t talked about it much because I haven’t wanted you to focus on one gift to the exclusion of others. I think God expects ALL of us to serve, to evangelize, to give, to discern, to exercise faith, etc.
He specially equips us so that some of these things come more easily than others, but that does not exempt us from working to develop the others, as well.
One of your father’s obvious gifts is giving, which he has faithfully used to support missionaries and other worthy causes throughout his life. However, when God puts it on his heart to share the gospel with a lost friend or neighbor, he shouldn’t say, “Well, evangelism is not my gift, so God will have to send somebody else to do that.”
Not every Christian is called to be a foreign missionary or a full-time evangelist, but God expects us all to be prepared and willing to “give account for the hope that lies within us.”
Likewise for the other gifts.
Discernment may not be my strong suit, but I still have a responsibility to exercise good judgement and to pray for wisdom in my decision making. My gift may not be giving, but that doesn’t mean I can be stingy.
When it is time to clean up after potluck on Sundays, I can’t say, “Well, service is not my spiritual gift,” and use that as a justification for laziness.
As for you, Bethany, I think it is obvious that teaching comes naturally for you and that you are gifted in that area. I think you are also very good at encouraging people, so perhaps exhortation is another of your gifts.
I would advise you to continue to mature in all areas of service, and just enjoy the fact that some facets will feel more comfortable than others.