Serve Where You’re Gifted
This past week, my church continued their series called “Unpacking Hope.” This week our focus was on “serving where you’re gifted.” [Click HERE to watch the original message.] Then, just this morning…I received the following email from the Brave Girls Club:
“There is a beautiful and little known secret to happiness that it sometimes takes us way too long to finally learn….and it is one that we can start practicing today, fabulous friend.
When life feels overwhelming, upsetting or grim…we can instantly change our outlook on things by getting out and serving someone else. Somehow, when we turn our focus to someone else, and especially to making their load lighter, or their day brighter…it comes back to us ten times stronger even than what we put out.”
Pretty timely message, eh? Christian or not, serving others is one of those “little known secrets to happiness” that we often overlook…but it’s so powerful. Now, if you’re anything like me…it’s taken you a long time to identify your spiritual gift…or you’re still searching. Until recently, I didn’t know what my spiritual gift was…serving in multiple capacities until I really started listening to God (I’ve written about this before in previous posts and guest posts).
Spiritual Gifts RS You see, we each have a spiritual gift…or more simply put, the ability to serve others. I love this passage in 1 Corinthians (above) because it teaches us so much about our spiritual gifts. 
  1. If you are a Christ follower, you have a gift. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says, “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”
  2. You didn’t get your gift by accident – each gift is given with purpose…determined by God according to 1 Corinthians 12:11.
  3. Each gift is given for the common good of the church (not necessarily any specific brick and mortar church, but the church of God) – again, as referenced by 1 Corinthians 12:7.
  4. You are only accountable for developing and deploying the gifts that God has given you as an individual. We are not to worry about the gifts that God has not given you. I actually try to use this one to my benefit with regards to my lack of domestic skills…my husband isn’t buying it.
  5. Once you know your gifts and you begin to serve others where you are gifted, you’ll begin to experience huge rewards. Yes, it’s one of the little secrets to happiness…but there’s so much more.
So, we all have a gift…it’s not by accident…it’s to be used for the common good…we’re only accountable for our specific gifts…and if we use our gifts to serve others, the payoff is huge. Okay…but how do we go about identifying our gifts? Our church is actually going to be doing a class on Spiritual Gifts this soon, but here are the basic components to get you started:
  • Spiritual – the key here is spiritual.
  • Heart – what are you passionate about? Kids? Animals? Music?
  • Ability – what are your natural abilities? Perhaps you are a musician…how can that be used to serve God? Maybe you’re a teacher…could you teach a bible study? Or in my case, I have a natural gift with photography and writing…how does God want me to use that to serve HIM?
  • Personality – each us are wired a certain way. While I hate to pick on my husband, I’m going to do so for the sake of an example. He’s not exactly the most patient person, but he is passionate about helping other people. Therefore, I know that spiritual counseling/listening is probably not the best fit for him. But, he may be able to help others manage their finances.
  • Experiences – what kind of experiences have you had in your life? I think this plays into what I wrote a few weeks ago, “I’ve learned though that sometimes the greatest stories ever told are painful to read and certainly painful to live…but if we fast-forward to the end, we’ll never fully appreciate the journey.” God makes no mistakes. In fact, he often uses what we may call “mistakes” to help others down the road.  
Whatever your spiritual gift may be, the point is that we are all called to serve. Furthermore, Jesus has left us an example to follow (John 13:12-17):
After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.
What is your spiritual gift?
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Update: If you are interested in taking a spiritual gifts inventory, click HERE.