What Is A Spiritual Gift?

When I say “milk,” I get a clear mental image. Most of us in fact get the same image. White liquid in a clear glass. We can even taste it. However, when I say “pet,” it gets a little more confusing. I say “pet” and you have a clear image but what are the chances of it being the same image I have? You may think of a grey kitten and I picture a bulldog. How much more difficult is it when I say “Spiritual Gift”? Many of us don’t get any image at all.

According to many nationwide surveys most of us do not know what our spiritual gifts are. It was the same way in the New Testament Church. Paul wanted to correct that. We see this in I Corinthians 12:1-7 where Paul writes: Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant… There are different kinds of gifts but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of workings, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now each of the manifestations of the Spirit is given for the common good.           

Paul says that He doesn’t want us to be ignorant about spiritual gifts so he uses three descriptive words that when put together help us better understand what a spiritual gift is.

First Paul wrote, “There are different kinds of gifts”. The word “gifts” simply implies that what God is giving us is given to us freely, just like a Birthday or Christmas gift. Today many refer to someone who is “gifted” as having a “natural born” talent. They are implying that it was a talent that was given to them, not one that they acquired by their own ability.            

The second phrase that Paul used as a clarifier was “There are different kinds of service”. The word “service” implies that the gifts are abilities or passions that were freely given to us by God, and are to be used as a form of serving God. The word service is the same word that is used for ministry. Paul is implying that God has given you and I spiritual gifts that equip us for ministry.           

The final phrase that Paul uses is “There are different kinds of workings.” The word “workings”  is an exciting word. It is only used twice in the Bible, both times in this chapter. This word means the “effect or result” of the energy or the power of God.                               

When we put all three phrases together we see that a spiritual gift is:           

An ability or prompting of the Holy Spirit, given to us freely, and is energized and empowered by God for His service.

An ability or prompting, given freely by God, energized by God for His service. What do you have like that in your life? God says He given each of us a gift.

Ability or prompting?God has seemed to gift me with leadership. When I see something that needs to be done, if I am to be used of God in the situation, He will give me a nudge. I will feel compelled to help get something done. I will lead whoever will join me. Wisdom. It seems arrogant to say “my gift is wisdom” but usually, if it is, you know it is from God. I spend most of my time deciding things, giving advice, consulting or brainstorming. I have been a change agent most of my life. When it is of God, He leads me with wisdom.

How about you – what do you think your gifts are.

If you want to know more, simply go to my website www.layministry.com and download my FREE workbook, Understanding My Spiritual Gifts and come back to this blog and comment on your own gifts. Let’s not pass up this wonderful “gift” that God wants us to use for Him. 

Visit our BOOKSTORE to find other books on Spiritual Gifts.


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