Spiritual Gifts, Skills, and Talents – What’s Your Spiritual Gift or Ability?
Spiritual gifts are a blessing from God to build up the church. However, it can be difficult to identify them in yourself or know how best to use them. Listen to Carol as she talks about spiritual gifts.
I believe that each person has unique abilities, skills, talents and gifts. Sometimes they are easy to spot but at other times they seem to be hidden in the shadows of pressing matters and the tough puzzle pieces of life. Often it is easier to see them in someone else than in ourselves.
There are things I know how to do reasonably well but not at a level of great talent or skill. Many years of piano lessons, as a young girl, mean I know how to play a piano – at least for my own enjoyment. As a teacher of the younger grades, I could play well enough to accompany my class while they sang a simple Christmas song.
In several very small churches we attended over the years, my piano playing helped in a morning service or for a funeral but only because I had learned to play the old hymns and no one else was available to play. I have known people who played the piano with great skill. They went on to be concert pianists or serve in large places with their abilities. I enjoyed listening as they used these talents and gifts but felt inadequate with my own level of skill.
Envying People With Other Skills
For years I wanted to be like someone else. I wanted my skills in music to rival those of gifted musicians I met. At times I wanted to sing like a recording artist or draw and paint like others I had met. I must admit I envied homemaking abilities I saw manifested in other women. I wanted to be able to sew like my mother or keep house like she and her sisters did and made it appear effortless. I spent so much time longing for what I thought I wanted and did not have that I could not or would not admit to possessing any special ability, skill talent or gift myself. I needed to learn that we can’t do everything well or as good as someone else.
I realize it can be easier to see the abilities other people possess. Watching them and trying to emulate them helps us learn and enjoy but does it also cloud our ability to discover what we have been gifted with? In my case I believe it did for a long time. My “gift envy” caused me to doubt myself. The negative, inside voice, downplayed anything I attempted to do. I felt like there were no puzzle pieces marked with ability, skill, gift or talent in the pile that belonged to me.
It took me years to learn that all of us have abilities. They show up in different ways but they are there. Some need to be cultivated and allowed to blossom. Ephesians 2: 10 says, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Just think about it – we are God’s workmanship – his masterpiece. He has created us as unique individuals and given us what we need. He has a perfect plan for each one of us and things he wants us to do. All the pieces are there and ready to be discovered.
What Are My Spiritual Gifts and Abilities?
I look at all I have learned and ask myself the question – what are my gifts and abilities? I know now that teaching is one of those abilities as is storytelling. God has given me the love of sharing with others and taken away the fear of speaking to groups both large and small and of various ages. I love doing a variety of things but I realized, not too long ago, that they are all part of being a storyteller. This broad heading of teaching, as a gift, has various skills incorporated into it. Storytelling is one of those skills and it helps me connect with the audience, whether it is one person or a group. Being willing to study, learn and grow is also a benefit as is being approachable.
Spiritual Gifts are For the Benefit of Others
From time to time, I still find myself suffering from “gift envy” and wonder if the skills I have are valuable. God reminds me that each ability, each skill, each talent and each job is important. I need to trust him and allow him to use what he has gifted me to do to accomplish his plan for my life. Just like my little toe has a use and I notice it when I have broken it how much that affects my whole body, so storytelling and teaching is just as important as being a good homemaker, a fantastic pianist or artist or practicing hospitality. All are needed for the benefit of others and to bring glory to God.
We all have different abilities and gifts. What are your gifts, talents, abilities or skills? How are you nurturing and using them?
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.