One of my favorite things about fairy tales is the custom of giving gifts at birth—Hercules received Pegasus, Aurora was granted beauty and song, and Ella, poor thing, got stuck with the “gift” of obedience. (I’d be partial to an overactive metabolism, but, hey…)
As our hearts are brought to life in the kingdom, we also are presented with gifts, spiritual strengths meant to operate in full bloom for the building up of the body of Christ. These gifts are part of what makes us unique as individuals, and they are part of what makes us functional as a group.
According to 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11,
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good … All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills.
The way God gifted you spiritually is pregnant with purpose. Don’t get caught up in wishing for something different. When the King of heaven considered this grand rescue mission you’re in on, He created you just the way He did for a specific reason. If you have the gift of administration, for example, instead of moping about not having a gift that seems sexier or more powerful, you be the best dang administrator you can be. Rock that administration! (A kingdom without administrators wouldn’t last long—they’re the ones who provide planning, practical problem-solving, and order.)
I need you and your strength the same way you need me and mine (because goodness knows I stink at evangelism; I can equip the saints all day long, but helping a sinner become a saint is not my area of expertise). This Church can’t be fragmented and remain healthy. The kingdom is an all-hands-on-deck operation, and if you’re not manning your station, damage is done.
So 3 steps come into play here: figure out how you’re wired, own it fully, and plug in wherever you see that gift lacking.
For step 1, try this inventory. (My three highest were teaching, shepherding, and exhortation.) I love how helpful the results page is.
While step 1 will take only a few minutes, steps 2 and 3 are lifetime endeavors. Owning your spiritual gift entails making peace with it, understanding it, developing it, and practicing it. Pray that God would open your eyes to why He designed you the way He did, and allow Him to settle any emotional issues that arise. Think about approaching someone who shares your gift to mentor you in how to expand your effectiveness in it. Ask about books, trainings, podcasts—any solid resource you can get your hands on. Then find a safe place for trial and error. Get feedback on what’s working and what needs more attention. Finally, look for gaps in your local church that could benefit from the way the Lord made you. Yes, the gift was presented to you on your spiritual birthday, but it was meant to be a blessing to all of God’s people.
Brave heart, you’re the gift that keeps on giving. We’re all sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting for you to do your thing. Look alive!