Treasures New and Old
Elkmont Baptist Church
Beloved: Grace and Peace
Exercising Our Spiritual Gift(s) - Testing Yourself for Gifts
Finding a Spiritual Gifts Discovery Tool
May God bless you all!
There are numerous lists available on the Internet (or elsewhere) of spiritual gifts and tests that are designed to help you find out what gifts you seem to exhibit the most. Let me say a word about the various tests that you may find and use.
Strong's Talking Greek_Hebrew Dictionary.
Wordsearch Bible. [computer software] . Nashville, TN: LifeWay Christian Resources. (Original work published 1890)
Some list a few items as a spiritual gift that the Bible does not list as a gift. One such list I have encountered has music as a spiritual gift. While music is certainly a wonderful ability and talent, and music can speak to the soul of a person (marching music, sad music, bright music, majestic music, etc.) it is not listed as a spiritual gift given by the Holy Spirit to the Body of Christ. This is simply one example that might find its way into a list of spiritual gifts.
Some lists and their tests treat all gifts as equal in the sense that they provide no distinction between gifts that motivate and gifts that manifest. I'll explain that in a bit. Nothing wrong with the list/test doing that, but it does not help distinguish between a gift that motivates a person to serve and the many different manifestations that might take place as a person exercises their gift.
I have seen a least one list that had all of their questions oriented towards serving in some capacity within a church office. As in teacher, pastor, deacon, etc. The problem with such a list is twofold: (1) It ignores the fact that not all who attend a church have an office in which to serve, and yet they have a gift and can certainly exercise their gift outside of the church building. A server, for example, can be assisting needy people; an exhorter might be comforting shut-in, etc. (2) It ignores children for the most part. Children do not as a rule hold any position within a church but do have spiritual gifts. A test oriented toward fitting people into places within a church would be very hard indeed for parents to use on the children to help identify their spiritual gift once they are saved.
Some tests have questions that make it obvious which gift is being asked about. Although generally not a problem, if a person is seeking a gift, they might tend to answer in the affirmative even if they shouldn't. Avoid tests that have obvious leanings in their questions because they might provide a skewed response.
There are differences between motivational, manifestation, and office gifts. All of the gift lists that are in the Bible have context around them that lend the reader the ability to substantiate between the types of lists. For example, in Romans 12:4-8, we encounter a discussion of the Body of Christ and the word
. The word
is the Greek word
and is also translated deed, work, and office. Deed
four times and work and office only once (Wordsearch's Strong's G4234). These lists seem to speak to the whole body as if everyone in the body has at least one of these gifts. These are not offices as we generally think of them (pastor, teacher, deacon, etc.).
The Gift Lists in the Bible Reminder
1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-6:
"Now concerning spiritual
brethren, I would not
have you ignorant. . . . Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all."
gifts - by the Holy Spirit
administrations (offices) - by the Lord Jesus
operations (power) - by God the Father
This short list guides us by reminding us that there are gifts, offices, and power levels within those gifts in the church.
Next Paul lets us see some of the manifestations of the gifts as they are exercised:
1 Corinthians 12:7-11:
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another
kinds of tongues; to another the
interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
So here is a manifestation list:
word of wisdom
word of knowledge
working of miracles
discerning of spirits
kinds of tongues
interpretation of tongues
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy,
let us prophesy
according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry,
ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on
exhortation: he that giveth,
let him do it
with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence;
he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Looking at point 5 above, I see this as a motivational gift list. A main gift that motivates us no matter what office or how much "power" it has in our lives. Here, then, is a motivational gift list:
let us prophesy
according to the proportion of faith;
let us wait
[O]r he that
, on teaching;
Or he that
, on exhortation:
let him do it
, with diligence;
[H]e that showeth
1 Corinthians 12:27-31:
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, help, governments, diversities of tongues.
all workers of miracles? Have all
the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.
Here at the end of 1 Corinthians and in Paul's discussion of the body, he closes with another mixed list:
diversities of tongues
Paul is also explaining the concept of the Body of Christ to the Ephesians in Chapter 4:
Ephesians 4:4-16 (emphasis added):
one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who
above all, and
through all, and in you all.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the
measure of the gift of Christ
. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he
led captivity captive,
and gave gifts unto men
. (Now that he ascended, what is in but
that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the
faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we
be no more
children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men,
cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But
speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head,
In this discussion, Paul is reminding the church that Christ gave this list (verse 7), and we are reminded that Jesus is in charge of administration gifts (offices within the church) as per 1 Corinthians 12:4-6. The list from Ephesians 4:11:
These are the main lists. I have also come across the following added to these lists based on context in some additional passages:
Find a good test. Test every few years, expecially your children as they mature. Over time you will see a pattern that will help identify your main motivational gift.
that which every joint supplieth according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
By the way, Jesus had all the gifts, motivational and manifestation, perfectly!
Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by