More On Spiritual Gifts

Q. I just read your response to a question about gifts and had some of my own. Do gifts change? From my experience I think they do based on what God desires to happen in both my life and how I interact with those around me. I see some of the change being based on my growth as a Christian and maybe some based on gaps in the Church I attend. My wife and I recently took a class in Church on the spiritual gifts. In that class we covered about 13 or 14 of them in the time frame of the class and then took a “gifts” test at the end. One of the things which struck me was I had one or two which stood out (was strong in) but others that I had some affinity for (not quite as strongly inclined). I also saw that what I had today (at the time of the evaluation) was not even close to what I saw in my life when I was younger in age and Christian walk as well as single. Is this biblical?

A. In 1 Cor. 12 Paul wrote that the Spirit distributes gifts to each one of us as He sees fit for the common good. Ephes. 4:11-13 and Romans 12:6-8 also list Spiritual gifts, some of which are different from those mentioned in 1 Cor. 12. As I read these passages and compare them to my experience and observation it seems like for the most part they’re given permanently, although I’ve seen times when a believer has been temporarily invested with a gift like healing or miraculous power to meet the needs of a particular situation.

I’ve taken and administered a number of these so-called gifts tests and don’t place much credibility in them. I think you can more effectively find your gift by studying the Biblical lists and praying about it. One clue to our giftedness can be found by looking at the things that give us the most satisfaction. Now I don’t mean the the good feelings that would accompany the attention we’d get by speaking in tongues or healing people or performing other miracles. I’m talking about that inner peace and joy we feel when doing something whether any body knows about it or not. Chances are good that at those times we’re moving in the areas of our giftedness.

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