The Bible talks about us all having gifts, i.e the gift of discernment, the gift of teaching, the gift of speaking in tounges, etc. How do I know what my gifts are?
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There are a number of ways to help narrow down and pinpoint the spiritual gift or gifts you have been given by the Holy Spirit: 1) Study the gifts as described in scripture There are many passages that talk about spiritual gifts, so reading these is a great place to start. Rom 12:6-8, I Cor 12:4-11, I Pet 4:11, I Cor 12:48, and more! Here is one site that lists many of the gifts, describes them, and gives some scriptures: https://www.hopepres.com/spiritual-gifts This particular list even mentions some stereotypical traits and possible personality weaknesses that may accompany certain gifts! As you read about the gifts in scripture, think about if you have ever seen a particular gift at work in your own life and ministry. 2) Ask other Christians Another excellent way to discover one's spiritual gifts is simply to ask other believers who know you well. They might inform you that you give really insightful biblical advice (which could mean a gift in teaching, knowledge, wisdom, exhortation, or something similar.) Perhaps they have noted that you always welcome strangers into your home and are the first to volunteer to house a missionary, showing a gift of hospitality. Etc. Sometimes even when we cannot see how our own gifts edify the church, others from the outside might have! 3) Serve! Take note of where you thrive, and where you feel burned out. If you don't know where your gifts are, volunteer as you see needs and let your local church group know that you are available to 'fill-in' as needed. Think over past service projects you have done, as well. Take note of what areas you feel 'burned out' with vs. The areas that seem to energize you. If serving on the greet team makes you want to hide from people for a week, then that isn't a ministry that meshes with your spiritual gifts. If you find setting up chairs and tables relaxing and purposeful, you might have a gifting in service. It isn't about how difficult you find the task, but rather whether you find it to be spiritually uplifting vs. Spiritually draining. 4) Take several different spiritual gift tests This isn't the most accurate but can help narrow things down. If you take several tests and find that the same gifts are consistently near the top, then you can start a more extensive study on the few at the top or look for service opportunities in those areas. 5) If you believe you have an 'insight' gifts (word of knowledge, knowledge, discernment of spirits, prophecy, etc.) test to make sure that they are accurate. For example, if you sense that someone is lying, go and test their assertion before gently confronting them. If you seem to get a specific word of knowledge about a secret abortion or divorce in someone's past - talk to them in private and see if it is true. (I've had more than one person come up to me in my life and say they got a word of knowledge that was completely incorrect. That won't happen with a genuine spiritual gift.) Test prophecies to make sure they come true, etc. If you find that a gift is consistently confirmed, then it is likely from God. If you find that it is hit-and-miss, it's likely your own subconcious or even Satan. Things to keep in mind: - The same gift can express itself in different ways, so don't worry if your gift doesn't look exactly like someone else's. A gift of teaching might express itself in speaking in front of a large group, in intimate one-to-one mentorship, or in writing curriculum, or in teaching youth, etc. - Spiritual gifts are different than spiritual growth. (Discernment, for example) You may find that you score higher on spiritual gift tests in many areas the longer you are a Christian since you have likely experienced growth in many areas. In general, we all should be growing in similar areas to the spiritual gifts (teaching, discernment, faith, giving, encouragement, etc.) but a spiritual gift will be more 'supernatural.' - Spiritual gifts are different than natural talents or learned skills.
The answer to that question is as simple as answering this question: What talents, aptitudes and abilities do I have. It does not matter if these are spiritual gifts or physical gifts; they are gifts from God given to you for the specific purpose of advancing the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. It does not matter if you have taken those gifts and perverted them to selfish ends; they were (and are still) gifts God gave you to advance the Kingdom of Heaven hear on earth. It does not matter if you are a Christian, or if you were born Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or any other religion or if you are agnostic or atheist, whether you have ever heard of God or Jesus, or have never had that opportunity. These gifts were given to you to advance the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Perhaps the more important question is how do I learn to apply these gifts for this purpose instead of the selfish purposes of my flesh or the Babylonian beast/image system that has been ruling this world since the days of Nebuchadnezzar (the head of the image) Dan 2, Dan 7, Dan 9-11, Rev 17, 18 or even before that, to the tower of Babel itself Gen 11, and even before that with the Serpent in Gen 3 encouraging Eve to question the word of God. We have all been doing that ever since; and while God does require that we question everything (Dt 13), rather than learning to understand God's way of thinking we have almost constantly rejected that in favor of our own understanding ever since. The way to learn how to apply our gifts to God's ends is to get into his word with open minds and hearts, set aside our own understanding, seek his understanding of all the symbols he has used to teach us, and yes, they are all symbols (Num 12:6-9), and start living these principles every second of every day AS A LIFESTYLE, not as something we go to church to think about one hour a week - give or take- if God is lucky enough to convince us to be there. This starts with those who claim to be the followers of God, and until we are able to live the word of God ourselves, we have no business judging anyone else who admits (or who we simply claim) are not followers of God and Jesus. Ezekiel 8 sets the standard here; all judgment starts at the temple, and exposing the hidden sins we refuse to admit we do, or refuse to acknowledge are actually sins rather than the righteous acts we claim them to be. Matthew 7 also sets a standard here, based on the principle taught in Dt 19:15-20 that the witnesses are to be judged and sentenced before the accused is judged; Mt 7:1 says, "Judge not lest you be judged," and the church prefers to leave it at that and claim we, who will judge men and angels in the age to come (1 Cor 6:3) are not to judge at all. However, the next verse says, "For by the standard by which you judge others God will also judge you." Just as the malicious witness of Dt 19 is to be sentenced according to what he was trying to get done to the accused, God will judge him according his own unrighteous standard of judgment if he has opted to judge others by any other standard than the righteous law of God, and will sentence him accordingly. Why is this important in answer to this question? Because determining what your gifts are, and how to properly apply those gifts are matters of discernment (another word for judgment, and translated from the same words as those other forms of judgment.) We are to learn God's standard, and apply our gifts by that standard in order to bring forth the Kingdom of Heaven or else we are applying those gifts selfishly and advancing the kingdoms of men in their rebellion against God, and God will hold us responsible for this misuse of his gifts.
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