Your Spiritual DNA, Part 3: Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts
Third in a 5-part series that outlines the components making up your spiritual DNA
Your cellular DNA, confirmed in a lab, is used by medical and legal professionals to verify your physical identity. In contrast, your spiritual DNA distinguishes your inward identity. Yet its makeup is not confirmed in a lab. Rather, a series of personal self-tests allow you to discover the four components that make up your spiritual DNA: your personality, your spiritual gifts, your passions, and your story.
Spiritual gifts, the second of those components, are especially unique to Christ-followers. A spiritual gift is a special grace or endowment given by God that helps fulfill His work.
How Spiritual Gifts Differ From Personality
Though often confused with personality (or personal strengths), spiritual gifts are different from them in at least two ways:
- Timing. A spiritual gift is given to a believer at the point of his conversion. A strength (also called a talent or skill) is bestowed upon you at birth.
- Nature. A spiritual gift is a supernatural ability – one that reflects “God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10, NIV). A strength is a natural ability, one that regularly occurs in human beings.
What is Always True About Spiritual Gifts
They are given to each believer
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7, NIV). Here Paul explains that each Christ-follower (not just a few, nor just super-saints, but every single one) receives a spiritual gifts mix to use for the Kingdom. Call your role what you like – conduit, delivery man, or go-between – you are tasked with stewarding your unique combination of spiritual gifts “for the common good.”
They come in different forms
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4, NIV). The Bible lists anywhere from 16 to 28 spiritual gifts, depending on which classification system you use. Bottom line: there are plenty of them to go around. If you are a Christ-follower you possess at least one spiritual gift, but more than likely a combination of them in varying degrees.
They have purpose
1 Peter 4:10 explains the two grand purposes behind spiritual gifts: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (NIV). Spiritual gifts do not reflect your virtue, but the character of God. Their sole purposes are to glorify God (administer His grace) and build up other believers (serve others.) Period.
Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts
Motivational gifts. God gifts each believer with internal motivators for the tasks He wishes you to do. When asked “Why do you serve?” and you answer “Because I am compelled (motivated, driven, captivated, fascinated, induced),” you are likely exercising a motivational gift. Motivational gifts yield transformation in others. They include teaching, exhorting, giving, leading, showing mercy, administrating, or declaring (prophesying).
Situational gifts. God gifts His people in specific situations to address specific needs: healing, special insight, or miracles, for instance.
Equipping Gifts. God gifts certain people to equip others. These gifts – such as evangelism, pastoring, or teaching – are often expressed in spiritual leaders as they work with people to mature, become productive, and take on works of service:
Your spiritual gifts are not gifts to you. Rather, they are gifts through you – the special ways God expresses Himself through His people. Identifying your spiritual gifts is a pivotal step in uncovering your unique spiritual DNA – who you are and what great work God has for you to do. You can discover your spiritual gifts by taking a spiritual gifts inventory, such as the special assessment conducted through Project 210.
One day you’ll look back at your life and make one of two observations.
I didn’t take the time to find out how God wanted to express Himself through me.
What a thrill it has been to allow God to express Himself supernaturally through me!
Find your spiritual gifts. And use them.