How many of you remember that game “Perfection?” It’s the game that has all the different little shapes that you try to fit into their teeny tiny little spaces before the timer is up. The whole point is to fit all the shapes in their place before the timer goes off and all those little pieces fly all over the place. I don’t know why I like it because it is stress inducing! My general way of playing the game is to get so frazzled that I’m trying to cram any shape into any old hole. After all they all kind of look the same…they are all yellow and have those little nubs of the top that you’re supposed to be able to pick them up with. (Which are far too small for any adult hand to grasp!)
So what does this have to do with anything Jesus might have to say?
- Am I talking about patience? Probably should be and that would be a good one.
- Am I talking about stress? Very appropriate as well…but no.
- Today we’re talking about what it would look like if you’re life were a game of perfection and you needed to figure out what you’re good at what would be in the “not so much” category.
You see we are each created with different shapes that we’re going to call Spiritual Gifts.
- Our goal in life is not to try to fit ourselves into another person’s mold.
- Our goal isn’t for our circle shape to fit into the star shape.
- Our goal is to discover our own place.
Deep within each of us is a desire to be able to do things really well. Because we are made in God’s image we are created with the desire to create, to accomplish, to make things happen. And God wouldn’t give us these thoughts and desired if He didn’t also give us the abilities to carry them out!
These “abilities” are the spiritual gifts that He gives to each of us that call ourselves children of His. How we use or misuse these gifts determines our quality of life. Our goal is to first discover our abilities then exercise them and fine tune them to do God’s work. That’s the whole point.
Sometimes when I talk about spiritual gift people look at me like I have a horn growing out of my head. Today we’re taking the mystery out of spiritual gifts and bring them in a light where they are easy to understand.
So, what are Spiritual Gifts and how do I get them?
- Paul talks about Spiritual Gifts this way…Romans 12:4-8 “Just as each of us has one body with many members…”-There are lots of us and each of us has a different function, but all are needed for the health of the body. Just like in our game example…you can’t win the game if you don’t get all the pieces in place.
- God give each of His children certain things that they do well. Romans 12:6-8 “God has given us certain abilities to do things well.”
-If you’ve accepted Jesus as the leader of your life…you have spiritual gifts. He gives them to everyone who believe.
- Everybody has access to all the gifts, but not everybody does all the gifts equally well. Ephesians 4:11-12 “He gave these gifts….”
-There are a lot of spiritual gifts…we all have a little bit of all of them. But we don’t have all of them at an equal level.
-Often what you’ll find when you’re getting to know the You that God has created…you’ll find that you have 1 or 2 very high spiritual gifts that really define who you are. Mine are Leadership & Administration. They consistently find their way to the top of my gifts list.
-Then you’ll have 1 or 2 secondary gifts that you do well and consistently gravitate to this area. I’ve found that these secondary gifts fluctuate in my life depending on where I’m at and what God is calling me to do. There was a time when I had a high Mercy gift in this area…now I’m finding I have a higher Discernment gift and a Teaching Gift. Which leads us into our next point…
- God gives us the ability according to our need. Exodus 4:10-12 “But Moses pleaded…“-Depending on our situation in life you might find that a gift that once wasn’t one of your highest is all the sudden at the top of the list.
-God is our biggest cheerleader. He’s all about our success and He gives us the gifts according to our need. At certain times in my life I’ve had a higher Mercy gift…then at other times I’ve seen my gift of Helps more in action…more recently I’ve seen a higher dependency on my Discernment gift.
-It’s exciting to see how God equips. Never say “I don’t do that well.” Because that will probably be the next area He’ll call you to exercise your gifts.
What should I do when I’ve figured out my gifts?
- You should use them!
-In Matthew 25:21 Jesus tells us this “Well done, my good and faithful servant…”
-We are responsible to use what God has given us!
- What if I want a different gift?
-There are no gifts that are better than the others. Back to Romans 12:3, 6 “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.” “God has given you the ability to do certain things well.”
-The power is given by God to each believer to fulfill the calling He has for you. Since the power comes from God, there can be no basis for a “I’m better than you” or “If I could only have that gift then I could really do something” attitude.
-God is the one that knows you best and if He is all about your success. If He has given you a set of abilities…use them well for His purposes.
- What if someone has more gifts than I do? What does that say about God’s evaluation of me? Does He not think I can handle it?
-The number of spiritual gifts you have is not related to the degree of love God has for you!
-Ephesians 3:18-20 ““And may you…understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep His love really is.”
-God loves all of us unconditionally.
So, again, making it practical for our everyday lives. I ask you this question?
What is keeping you from using your God-given abilities.
Is it the not knowing?
If so, I’ve given each of you a card with the online address where you take take a quick 60 question spiritual gifts assessment. It will only take about 10 minutes and will at least get you headed in the right direction. My only other direction to you is to be honest with yourself while taking it. The format is on a scale of 1-5. Resist the urge to answer everything at a 3. Also resist the urge to be too hard on yourself and answer everything as a 1. And it’s ok to have a healthy sense of self-esteem. If you do it well…say so. But also resist the urge to think you are a super-sized quiz taker and think that all of the answers are exactly true of you. Again…just be honest with yourself.
Is it the lack of confidence?
Remember Moses…”But who am I to go before the king?” When God gives you an assignment He will give you the skills to accomplish it!
Bring your results with you next week and take some time to talk with your group leader about how to put your gifts into action.