Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10)
Our discussion of the discipline of service warrants spending some time on spiritual gifts. We won’t pursue an extensive discussion of spiritual gifts. Rather, we will highlight the strong linkage between service and spiritual gifts and pose two essential questions.
Linkage Between Service and Spiritual Gifts:
If you are a believer, God has given you spiritual gifts. The Biblical admonition to use our spiritual gifts for service is very clear – see the 1st Peter 4:10 passage above. For a more detailed consideration, you can also read 1 Corinthians 12. What is clear, is that God has not left the development of his church up to chance. He has provided the resources required and mandated that many of these gifts should be demonstrated in community. Every believer has an important part to play but the body suffers when the members don’t understand their roles as servants.
There are, therefore, two essential questions for you to answer:
1. Do you know your spiritual gifts?
2. Do you use these gifts for service?
If you don’t know your spiritual gifts, I would encourage you to prayerfully consider this issue. Discuss this with believers you trust. There are now many programs targeted at helping believers determine their gifts, including free online spiritual gifts tests. Sometimes though the best feedback you can get are from the people who know you well.
If you do know your spiritual gift(s) you have a responsibility to use the gift(s) as an act of service to Body.
Let me end with a note of caution. Use of your spiritual gifts in service should not serve as an excuse to not provide service in areas where you are not “gifted”. The local church already suffers from the 80/20 Rule, which says that 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. We need more acts of service, not less.
What do you think?