As long as I can remember as a believer, I’ve been trying to figure out what my spiritual gift is. I’ve taken those silly online tests but I never fully trusted them. I have prayed about this many, many times and did not receive an answer. I was expecting the voice of God to come thundering through a cloud and say something like…
“CAROL – YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFT IS ______”
Really! That’s what I was expecting!
I’ve also had other people tell me what they thought my gift was but I already decided that no matter what they said, that I wouldn’t believe them because 1) they were not God and 2) they didn’t speak thundering from a cloud. So it was a useless exercise yet amusing. 🙂
However, as I was reading from Romans 12, I think I may have stumbled upon something. Paul talks about us not having an exaggerated view of ourselves and then says the following:
“If your gift is prophecy, use it to the extent of your trust.” Rom 12:6 (or the extent of your “faith”)
I think this is directly related to having a sober estimation of ourselves. I think that we identify our own gift(s), as opposed to someone else or an online test, because we know what drives us. We know our own strong desires and we act on that strong desire when needed in the body. No one else can see into your heart and see an area of service that you’re strongly drawn to, or even compelled to do except yourself, and God of course.
Some people seem to gravitate toward the more “glamorous” gift. Some, even a lot, strive to be teachers due to the status and respect that usually comes with that position but Paul is telling us to judge ourselves accurately. All gifts come from the Holy Spirit. So if you think you have a particular gift, and you’re horrible at it, then what we can conclude is that while you have a strong desire but fail in the execution, then it is done in the flesh and not in the Spirit for the Holy Spirit doesn’t leave us ill-equipped.
After examining myself, I noticed a pattern in my actions; a strong desire, a compulsion, a desire so strong that I drop whatever I’m doing and give my full attention to it and it has to do with service or helps. I have no strong desire for any particular gift and I certainly don’t want to be in the spotlight. I’ve always been content working “behind the scenes.” So while this was always in the back of my mind, I wanted confirmation from a thundering cloud but after reading Rom. 12, it seem to say that our gift is what we think it is, provided that we measure ourselves accurately.
So whatever you think your gift is, do it to the extent of your trust. If you find you have a propensity towards a particular area of service in the body, and you seem to go above and beyond what is expected of you, and you enjoy it, then this might be your gift. And if it is your gift and you are fully convinced of this, then do it according to that certainty and trust that God gave it to you.