“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12: 6-8 (TNIV)
One of the most interesting aspects of my own personal self discovery has been learning about my spiritual gifts. It amazed me to know that my Creator gave me certain gifts and these gifts, although given to others, are packaged especially for me and significant to my own world and those in it.
I won’t pretend to be an expert on the topic of spiritual gifts*, but the way I see it is that spiritual gifts are different from talents. A talent can be something that you do, or learn to do and you either naturally do it well or develop the ability to do it well. For example, I have a talent for writing. I’m not the best writer, and I’m not the worst writer, I just have a talent for it, among many other talents such as playing the flute, etc.
A spiritual gift goes a bit deeper as it uses the talent in a way that enhances the lives of others. So I may use my talent for writing in a way that helps others or I may use my ability to play the flute as a way of healing others. Consequently, many people may have different talents, but it is how you use those talents that brings forth your spiritual gifts.
Just like I won’t pretend to be an expert on spiritual gifts, I won’t pretend to be a Bible scholar, but I think in the case of the verse I quoted above, the apostle Paul was talking specifically about using our gifts in the Christian church. In my own reflections, I don’t like to limit the use of spiritual gifts, or I don’t think of spiritual gifts as only active within the church. I think they are at work all around us and through us for the greater good of all humanity.
A few years ago I did a few spiritual gifts inventories and I determined that my most prevalent spiritual gift is “Mercy.” A synonym for the word mercy is compassion. Prior to discovering or understanding this most precious gift given to me specially by my Creator, the name of my blog had been Michele’s blog. Shortly thereafter, I changed the name of my blog to what it is now, Words of Compassion, Creativity & Knowledge. After learning of this beautiful gift of compassion that I had been given by God, I had to share it with the world. I believed that God was prompting me to share my compassion and other gifts with others, and so the new name for my blog emerged through the gifts I had been given.
I may discuss the other two gifts (creativity and knowledge) at a later time, but this month, I was very much prompted to talk about this idea of mercy or compassion…what it means; what it looks like; and who it is directed to.
Probably the most thought provoking element of this month’s discussion is how we show compassion to ourselves.
It has been awhile since I’ve really spent time within a specific topic, so I am looking forward to diving into this topic for the remainder of the month (and maybe a little bit into next month as well). I hope you enjoy my insights.
*If you want more information about your spiritual gifts or you wish to do a spiritual gifts inventory to find out what they are, there is a wonderful website you can visit called: Gifted2Serve – Online Spiritual Gifts Inventory. Enjoy!