Wikipedia says the purpose of Spiritual Gifts is to “edify (build up), exhort (encourage), and comfort the church.” Gotta love Wiki – it’s got answers for everything in life.
With regard to Spiritual Gifts, Wiki is correct, they’re to be used to serve the body of Christ.
I especially love its addition of comforting the church – what a wonderful picture.
What Wikipedia missed, though, is that spiritual gifts can be used in your workplace, home, community, and well… anywhere and everywhere God calls you.
Here at Bought At A Price, we desire to see you use your spiritual gifts in all of these places. Our hope and prayer is that what you discover in this test is an encouragement to live out your calling as a child of God.
Use your results to discern how you can further the Kingdom of God through serving at your church, supporting your loved ones, being active in your community, and living out your faith in your workplace.
Be sure to spend time asking the Holy Spirit to show you how your gifts connect with God’s purposes for you. If you’ve taken the test in the past, take it again and look at how your gifts have aligned (or even realigned) with your purposes in your current season of life.
Sarah and I have written about our spiritual gifts so you can see how they’re woven together with the plans and purposes of God. Read our stories, then go take the test yourself.
There are many Spiritual Gifts tests but we’re partial to the one we use at our church.
Sarah's Gift Story
Hi friends! Sarah here. We haven’t officially met as Hannah has been the wonderful author of the previous posts on Bought At A Price. I suppose it’s fitting that our first introduction is me sharing about my spiritual gifts test results, so let’s dive in!
I’ll admit, when I saw my top 3 results, I was a little disappointed. Not because I don’t think they’re accurate, but they seem, well… a little boring.
Not to mention faith scored in the low range for me, so not exactly picture-perfect over here.
A quick look into my top 3 gifts: Giving, administration, and discernment… the trifecta of an introverted church-member. These were not a surprise to me, as I’ve always preferred behind-the-scenes work over being front and center.
Giving, I imagine, would be top for my husband as well (he’s taking the test right now so tbd on this claim).
When we got married halfway through college, we were both leading small groups at our school and pastoring students in our church. This context in our first years as a married couple shaped our hearts towards hospitality and opening our home to others.
We love to encourage through a hot meal around our table and a late night of conversation on the couch. Giving has been a value we’ve tried to be intentional about in each season of life, no matter what our schedules, income, or situation has been.
The Other Two...
When reading the definition in the results for administration, I immediately had flashbacks to my first jobs. Working in leadership and management positions, I would always start with the details and work toward the big picture.
If I have a mission and vision in mind, working out the nitty-gritty came naturally. Setting people in motion with tasks and organizational structure has always been a strong-suit for me when leading teams.
I pair well with big-picture people (hi husband) and love coming alongside those with long-term vision to help them get stuff done.
Discernment was my number 3, and this is probably the most obvious mark of my introverted personality. I’m one of those “people-watchers” that spends a lot of time dissecting situations and conversations.
Too much time.
Discernment has a flip-side, and that’s judgment. While I do think God’s given me a gift to use discernment in situations and relationships, I have to be conscious this doesn’t turn into an excuse for me to condemn people or cast an undue verdict in certain situations.
While my top 3 spiritual gifts felt accurate, it was results number 4 and 5 that gave me pause: mercy and pastoring.
True, my natural strengths and gifts align well with positions that require me to “steer from behind,” so to speak. But the reason my mind and body invest time in the gifts of giving, administration and discernment are because of where Jesus has opened my heart over the years – the gifts of mercy and pastoring.
Let it be known that these probably would have scored in my bottom 5 spiritual gifts if I had taken this test 10 years ago. But as Jesus has led me through new seasons of life and brought me to deeper relationships with Christians around me, he has slowly softened my heart towards others.
Now, there is nothing that brings me greater joy than being able to extend a hand toward those God has placed in my life, inviting them to honest moments of vulnerability that lead to deeper experiences of grace.
Words of Encouragment
My encouragement to you, dear reader, is this: as you take this test and review your results, do not use them as a strict template for how you define your purpose and role in the Kingdom of God.
Yes, they will reveal certain traits that God’s uniquely crafted into your character. Praise him for that!
But don’t seek to use them without discernment and council. Always, always go to Scripture first.
I loved that in the results of this test it gives passages to reflect on concerning where your gifts are seen in the Bible. Spend time reading not just those one or two verses, but the surrounding chapters.
Then pray over your results.
Acknowledge God as the giver of your gifts and ask Him to continue to grow you as you seek to do work for His Kingdom.
Finally, have conversations surrounding them. Take the test with your spouse, and kids, and home group. Ask those you’re closest with and trust what they think of your results, and how they see them currently playing out in your life.
Brainstorm about how God could use them in the future.
Things to Practice
Last, don’t ignore the rest of the gifts on the list.
While your natural inclination might be toward introverted gifts like mine, don’t let that deter you from practicing your low-scoring gifts.
Faith and evangelism were in my bottom 5.
That’s a wake-up call my friends!
If I were to use this test as an excuse to never preach the Gospel or share about how God has been working in my life I’d be living entirely antithetical to the mission of Jesus here on earth.
To the extroverts of the Church – just because your top gifts might have been exhortation and teaching does not mean you get to use that as an excuse to slack on wisdom and discernment.
Praying for you all as you answer these questions and have conversations surrounding your spiritual gifts, calling and purpose on this earth.
May you always seek to advance the Kingdom of God with what has been given to you.
Oh, and in case you were curious about how accurately I can predict these things, giving was my husband’s number four gift. Not bad, huh?
Hannah's Gift Story
If you’re like me, you had childhood dreams of what you’d be when you grew up. People may have even told you what they thought you’d become as an adult, based on your childhood talents.
Me – I wanted to be an attorney or the president because I loved to argue and didn’t want anyone telling me what to do. I also wanted to be a shoe model since I was too short to be an actual model (not expecting this to ever come true…).
Friends and family would have told you I could do anything with my life and family would have hoped that involved piano. As a child I was too smart for my own good and God had gifted me as a classical pianist.
Rebellious living led me down a path only God knew I’d go down. That path led me to Florida, God, and a career in business. That business career resulted in a 20 year leadership position, so it wasn’t surprising my third highest Spiritual gift is…leadership.
My top gift, giving, is one I know God’s been shaping from birth.
Giving was something my parents always modeled and I took it up, almost unknowingly, when I chose to follow God. It’s something I wish I could do more of though.
I’d truly be content giving to people all day long. But I don’t say that to sound pompous. You may have a similar gift, one you know reflects God’s heart and one you wish could be a full time thing.
Maybe one day…
Knowledge wasn’t a gift I recognized as having. After praying over this, God showed me I’ve always loved knowledge and reminded me of the long summer days I’d spend with my nose in more than one book.
The definition of this gift says “the gift of knowledge is an understanding of the things in this world and in our lives that is founded in the Gospel and rooted in the Scripture.”
And go figure, that’d be me…almost to a fault.
My fourth and fifth gifts, service and apostleship are a combination of surprise and expectation. Service is something I do on auto-pilot and have always loved to putz around in the background making sure things are taken care of.
Apostleship though…I had to do a double take, re-read the definition and then laugh. God’s quietly been moving me into this gifting and I’m not sure where we’ll end up.
My bottom three were administration, mercy, and prophecy, which 1 Corinthians 14:1 says we all should desire.
Like Sarah, I want God to develop these lesser gifts. I don’t want to be so focused on my top gifting’s that I fail to show mercy.
Looking at the purposes God has for me and retaking the Spiritual Gifts test, in light of our recent posts on purpose, shows just how perfectly God has connected His purposes for me and the Spiritual gifts He’s given me.
I couldn’t do the things God’s called me to, if it weren’t for His gifts.
It’s even more exciting seeing how Gods weaving Sarah and my story together. Even more exciting is that it includes you.
We pray you read our stories and trust that God has great plans for you. That you take the Spiritual Gifts test and what you learned from the purpose and thought exercises here, here, and here and ask the Holy Spirit what He wants you to do.
It’ll be exciting and it may change over time. Follow God’s lead and it’ll be nothing but perfect.
Looking at our purpose and Spiritual gifts makes me think of Moses’ life. He went from a baby that should have been killed, to the son of royalty, to the man who God called to lead His people to freedom.
His Spiritual gifts were shaped throughout his life and used for his purpose, leading God’s people to the Promised Land.
What does God have in-store for you?
How might His purposes and the Spiritual gifts He’s given you shape history?