"Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant." 1 Corinthians 12:1
Do you know which spiritual gift you've been given? Are you using it?
From experience, I know this topic can come with a lot of questions...
How do I know what mine is?
How can I be sure I have it?
Where can I go to find out?
The best thing to do is to pay attention when you're serving others. What fills you with joy? What need do you meet that uplifts and encourages those around you? What makes you feel closer to Christ? Spiritual gifts tests are also available, and they're fun to take as well!
Once you start experimenting, God will usually confirm them through the encouragement of other people.
At times, I've struggled with how I should use mine. In fact, now that I'm not on staff of a church anymore, my gifting has shifted. It's up to me to make sure I'm using them properly. Also, a gift unused gets taken away and we may never get the opportunity again.
Paul shows his concern when he offers further explanation as to why he doesn't want us to be ignorant:
"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit" (v 4)
"There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord" (v 5)
"There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men." (v 6)
"Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good." (v 7)
Think about the hundreds of ways these gifts can be used for different service and different working!
It means that no matter where we are or what condition we're in, we can use whatever we've been given to serve God.
But we have to know what it is.
Your gift is to be shared with others in service to God and if you're not sure what yours is or how to use it, I urge you to make it your goal to know. It's more than filling a slot at church or volunteering for a couple of hours.
It's God's presence, his Spirit gift, working through you to build up his body. Since we are the body, when we use our gifts for others, we're also helping ourselves grow stronger. Look at what else Paul says about it in Romans 1:11:
"I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong - that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each others faith."
We all benefit when we share our gifts with one another. I know that often, I will make a phone call with the intent of encouraging someone and I end up getting just the right message of wisdom. One time I took a meal to someone in need and three years later, ended up being encouraged by her AND amazed by God's perfect timing.
I challenge you to fan your gifts into flames! (2 Tim 1:6)