|November 6, 2006
Gifted for a reason
by John Fischer
God made us to fit into his family and gave each of us gifts that will help define our place in that family. That gift is a special ability to meet other people’s needs. It’s what helps us serve better. Serving other people is not an added little project for us to take on so we can be purpose driven; it is an integral part of our identities. You were made to serve, and you were given gifts to help you serve better.
Your gift is by nature just that: a gift, so it is not hard to do. Sometimes it may take effort to get yourself into a place where you can exercise your spiritual gift, but once you start serving, the gift comes naturally. If you’re not sure what your gift is, ask somebody.
What I mean is: We are not very good judges of our own gifts. Our gifts are for others, and for this reason, those who receive the benefits of our gifts are the best qualified to tell us what they are. For instance, if people naturally come to you for advice because you always speak practically into their lives, then they are probably telling you that you have the gift of wisdom. If people call you when they need something done because you always get things done on time and with limited effort, they may be telling you that you have the gift of service or administration. If people confide in you because they know that whatever they say you will not turn them away, they may be counting on your gift of mercy. If whenever you teach a Bible study or a small group, people come up to you and tell you what they learned, then they may be telling you that you have the gift of teaching. Ask the people around you to tell you specifically how you affect their lives.
Of course you have to exercise your gift before anyone can benefit from it and tell you what it is. Knowledge of these things doesn’t come out of a vacuum. How do you start serving if you aren’t sure what your gift isí Best to simply get involved with a small group or in some capacity in your church or community. As you reach out to people in general, a certain expertise will take shape. It will be hard to miss. It’s a blend of what you like to do, what comes easily, and what those around you confirm.
Having a role to play in the family of God can be the difference between wondering why we are here and knowing why. And that can make all the difference in the world.
For more study on spiritual gifts, read Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; Ephesians 4:4-13.