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. ~ Ro 12:6-8 (NIV)
I’d been praying about using my spiritual gifts in a more effective way, but I wanted to be sure I had them right. The pastor’s sermon on Romans 12 was the confirmation I needed.
Though the gifts are present in several Scripture passages, I’ll stick to the seven gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Encouraging, Giving, Leading, and Showing Mercy.
My primary gift is Encouragement; my secondary gift is Service.
In years past, I may have coveted other gifts like Prophecy or Leadership. But 33 years of walking with Christ has shown me two things: I’m no prophet and to be a leader you need followers. I have none—and I don’t think God counts Twitter.
Now that I had my gifts in order, as any good helpmate would do [good may not be the correct word, but meddling doesn’t sound as nice], I decided to help my mate find his.
My husband is not joiner, nor is he as social as I am. He’s pretty much a homebody; therefore you can see why he would need my wisdom in this area.
After church, over breakfast, I brought up the sermon. “So what do you think your gifts are?”
“Not sure,” he said, as he took a sip of his coffee.
I announced, “Mine are Encouragement and Service.”
He put his coffee down. “Sounds right.”
I pushed on. “Well, do you ever feel like you have a Prophetic Word for people—besides me, I mean?” I confess I knew the answer all ready.
“Nope.” He took a forkful of scrambled eggs.
“Okay, what about Service? You’re always doing things for me like shopping, running errands, laundry, and helping me with my computer stuff. Service could be your spiritual gift.”
He swallowed his bite and washed it down with juice. “Could be.”
“Wait. Let’s look at Teaching. You know how you’re good at explaining things to me– like on my blog or website or around the house– maybe you could teach others? You’re smarter than anyone I know.”
“Not so sure about that.” He bit into a sausage and said, “Hmm. Jimmy Dean?”
“Hey, perhaps we have the same gifts. You’re always telling me to do things that I don’t think I can do. Maybe you’re an Encourager.”
“Could be.” He wiped his mouth. “Can you please pass the jam?”
“Don’t panic, we’re not in a jam. We still have Giving, Leading, and Showing Mercy left. We’re not rich, but you give to many different causes, right? I’m always getting sidetracked, so I certainly look to you to lead us. And we both know you have a lot of mercy.”
“Why do you say that?” He got up and refilled our mugs.
“For starters, you’re patient with me when I’m sick. Me, with you, not so much.”
“Let’s not worry about all this right now,” he said. “God will reveal my gifts in His time.”
“I know, but this is important! We need to know what your gifts are so you can plug into a ministry.”
Determined to solve this mystery, I mentally reviewed what we’d learned so far. Suddenly it struck me. I looked at my husband and said, “Uh, oh. I think God just gave me a revelation.”
He finished clearing the dishes and sat down. “And what might that be?”
“I think He told me that your ministry is ME!”
My husband smiled and patted my hand.
I think he knew that already.