Written By: Megan Ezell
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different
kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and
in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12: 4-7
To be honest, spiritual gifts scared me when I was a teenager. I didn’t understand them
and was thrown into them, confused. It led to me distrust the Spirit and close myself off every
time I heard “Holy Spirit” during worship or prayer. This Spirit made me uncomfortable and
frightened. I was not shown the above verse or the passages in the Bible well, and I became
distant from the church. I attended, but I never paid attention. As I recognized this unhealthy
relationship with the Holy Spirit, I went on my own adventure – away from church – into God’s
word because I knew that God was not meant to frighten, but to love and His gifts must have
been meant for that as well.
I dove into the word, studying what He was and what His gifts were for. They were for
the Kingdom. They were for furthering the fruits of love, peace, patience, joy, kindness,
goodness, gentleness, and self-control. They were for showing all on Earth that God loves
them. All it took was spending time away with God to understand Him fully and His desires for
our church. Abiding in His word and in His love led to a growing relationship with Him. If only I
had done that before, it could have saved a lot of time and worry.
Now, there are gifts of all kind, used by God in different ways. There is wisdom, there is
knowledge, there is encouragement. There is teaching, there is prophecy, there is faith. There
is healing, there is prayer, there is speaking in tongues. The list is endless and every gift is
useful to God. Every gift is used to further His Kingdom, every gift can be used to create the
community God desires us to be, and every gift can be used to love one person at a time.
Doing this requires only 2 things. First, spend time with Christ learning which gift He has given you and second, recognize that your gift is not meant for you, but is meant to spread Christ’s love throughout the world. Abiding in His Spirit is the first step. Dive into His word, and dive into His heart. This will show you what His goals are for all people; His goals for the Kingdom. Knowing this will better help you realize what you enjoy doing to further those goals. Do you love to encourage others? Do you love to know His word inside and out to better show God’s love with His words? Do you love to serve as a volunteer, helping people in ways that they cannot help themselves? Do you love to listen to others going through a difficult time and assist them in walking through those moments? These are all examples of gifts; ways that God will use you to show His love. Recognizing and remembering that these gifts are not meant to promote us is the second step. We are all human and we all can get tempted by the attention from using gifts. People will thank you for all you do and it is easy to slip into that as some thing you are doing to get appreciation, when in fact it is something you are doing to promote God’s love and Kingdom. Remembering this, waking up each day praying for God to use you and your day for His good, will keep you from slipping down this slope. I slip often and have to remind myself why I use my gifts.
So what is your gift? You may know one that you have, or you may know many. You
may know none. For those who don’t know your gift, I encourage you to sit with God
throughout your day and pay attention to the actions you take. I trust that God will show you
your gift if spend time looking. For those who know their gifts, I encourage you to use them for
Christ. Spend each morning while you wake up asking God to use you. For those who have
avoided the gifts, scared or confused as I once was, dive into His word. The gifts and the Holy
Spirit are not something to be afraid of, but something that brings peace, love, and joy to your
life and to those around you. Each of us has at least one gift to use to further God’s Kingdom. Find yours and watch as God uses it in amazing and astonishing ways.