Discovering Spiritual Gifts

How can we discover our spiritual gifts?

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Spiritual gifts are such an important part of the Christian life. I think it's again natural to ask, what's my spiritual gift? As we read in Scripture, we all have them, but how do we know them? How can we use them? I think a few things come to mind. It's certainly helpful to ask others in our Christian circles if they can identify and see spiritual gifts in us and perhaps give us some direction. I think secondly it's helpful to just try various areas. If you think you might have the gift of service, well, try serving. If you think you might have the gift of teaching, you seek out a venue to teach and so forth. And I think if that gift is really present within us by the Spirit, there'll be a degree of success and blessing and certainly ministerial furtherance as we use those gifts. Maybe thirdly, there's just, I think, an inner kind of confirmation that comes once we hit upon that gift, kind of like Jeremiah saying he has fire in his bones. I think maybe of a friend of mine who has the gift of giving, and God has blessed him tremendously with the ability to make money in the realm of business. And I asked him one day, you know, "Why do you give so much?" He said, "Really, you know, I can't not do it because of that spiritual pleasure that I receive as I do give. It's just feels like I'm singing the song that I was made to sing." So, I think those three things: advice from others, trial and error, and then maybe sort of an inner, almost subjective, personal blessing or confirmation as we do find that right gift that we have.

Answer by Dr. David W. Jones

Dr. David W. Jones is Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.