Wednesday, 27 February 2013

How do I discover my gifts?

There is no unemployment in the Kingdom of God. God has given each member of the Church "gifts according to the grace given us" (Romans 12:6). That means that God has graced each one of us to serve each another in different ways. The question is, "What gifts have I received and what am I supposed to do with them?"

The purpose of the gifts

"Freely you have received, freely give!" Matthew 10:8

Firstly we must understand that God's gifts are freely given to us. We cannot earn them. 

Secondly we must understand that the gifts God gives us are not meant to be self-serving but are given to serve others. In view of what God has done for us (His mercy), God calls us to no longer live for ourselves but for God and others. This change of attitude comes about as we change the way we think about our lives and consider what God desires. The pattern of the world is self-centredness and self-gratification but the way of the Kingdom is other-consciousness and living for the benefit of others. As the believer lives a life of dying to self and living for God, s/he lives as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God (Rom. 12:1-3). 

Thirdly we must understand that God gives us gifts to be used in our lives and not only in the context of the Church organisation or meeting! Too often Christians live as unemployed people because they apparently haven't found their ministry in the Church. That is a very limited view of why God gives His children gifts! Jesus empowered His disciples to demonstrate the Kingdom of God in the world by their freely giving what they had received (see Matthew 10:8; Acts 3:1-10; 6:1-8).

Paul writes,

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere." Romans 12:6-9

We must learn to use our gifts as the Church and not just in the Church. As God's people, God has gifted us to demonstrate God's love by prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, being generous, leading, showing mercy and simply loving others. All these gifts should be used in the context of the Church meeting/organisation/organism as well as in the world.

How do I discover my gifts?

Look at what you already enjoy doing.

There are all sorts of complicated questionnaires one can answer to discover one's gifts. However, it really isn't that complicated. Here are a few easy questions to ask yourself to realise what you already have received.

How do you like to serve others most?

Do you like doing them a favour? (serve)
Do you like to encourage them verbally? (prophesy)
Do you like helping people to know something? (teach)
Do you like to give people gifts? (be generous)
Do you like to influence people positively? (lead)
Do you like giving to the needy? (show mercy)
Do you like to be a shoulder to cry on? (be compassionate)
Do you like being creative to bless others? (cook, create, paint, play music etc)
Do you like to keep things in order? (administrate)
Do you like to bring people and facts together? (manage)

And so on...

Look at what you do that produces positive results (good fruit).

Have a look at what you do that blesses others and even ask others what they think you are good at!
If something costs you a lot of effort and stress to produce, it probably isn't one of your gifts.

What book of the Bible do you find yourself in mostly?

I have found that we are drawn to the gifting we carry. Our worship leaders hang around the Psalms, our prophets hang around the prophets and I tend to hang around the apostle Paul. Whose life in the Bible do you admire most? Ok, apart from Jesus?

Eagerly desire the gifts

God wants us to desire more gifts so that we can demonstrate His love in more ways. The primary motivation to desire the gifts of God must be love and the desire to use the gifts for the benefit of others. 

Use what you have

As you use the little you think you have, God will give you more to steward. It's a Kingdom principle (Matthew 25:14-30; 2 Cor. 9:6).

I encourage you to realise the gifts you have received and to use them diligently to bless others within the Church and in the world. Realise God's greater purpose for giving you His gifts and freely give what you have freely received.

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