UNDERSTANDING YOUR FAITH
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
By Vic Scaravilli
The Holy Spirit has given every Christian unique gifts that are to be used to accomplish Godís purposes. Everyone can feel a part of being a member of Godís family when he or she has the opportunity to use the gifts to build up the Church. It is exciting to find out what our gifts are but sobering to learn how greatly God depends on us to use those gifts.
The Bible contains many verses that instruct us on the necessity of using our gifts. Jesus tells his disciples and us, in Mat. 5:14-16, ďYou are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.Ē Again, Jesus commands us not to be just spectators but rather doers in His Church and our community.
How do we know what our gifts are? In order to identify them, we need to define and understand what they are and how they can be used in our lives. The Church recognizes the primary gifts of the Holy Spirit as those listed in Isaiah 11:2 and the practical application of those gifts can be found in 1 Cor. 12:7-11.
Wisdom gives us the ability to use our knowledge so we can make Godly decisions. This gift helps us to see things from Godís point of view and act accordingly. It allows us to be open-minded, see other perspectives and set priorities. This can be used in many areas such as leadership or administration by providing guidance and direction.
Understanding means we grasp the meaning of what we believe and act in ways that show our Christian faith makes a difference. A major use of this gift is touching the lives of others in service. By understanding others, and ourselves, we can bring Godís love to people in a variety of ways. Hospitality can be shown by visiting friends and neighbors, helping in times of need, and providing encouragement. We can give our time, prayer support, and resources to others in their hour of need.
Judgment allows us to look at situations more clearly, analyze the options, and make Godly decisions. It helps us choose the right way to act. This gift can be used to help friends and neighbors make decisions in their lives through counseling and listening.
Courage gives us the strength to do what is right in spite of hardships and difficulties. It gives us the power to carry through with the moral and spiritual decisions we have made that may have obstacles. This gift allows us to stand up for a cause, course of action, or situation that may not be popular with the secular world.
Knowledge helps us understand what is happening in our world. This consists of both physical and spiritual truths. When we know about our faith, we can then teach others about Godís truths. Evangelization, or spreading the gospel message of Christ, is how others can get an understanding of the salvation message from us.
Reverence helps us to respect others and deal with people showing kindness and gentleness. This allows us to be of service to others as well as being merciful.
Wonder and awe [simplicity] helps us to understand who God really is and how we are His children who rely and depend on Him. It causes us to be grateful to our God for the gift of our lives and encourages us to worship and glorify Him. As a result, this gives us the power to want to tell others about Him as well as spread His love to others.
We can all use these gifts in our daily lives to benefit others and glorify God. Whether at home, work, or in our community, let our light shine for all the world to see so we may reflect who God is to a watching world.