How Can I Recognize My Spiritual Gift(s)?

How Can I Recognize My Spiritual Gift(s)? August 31, 2018

Every believer has at least one gift, probably more, so how do you recognize the gifts of the Spirit in your life?

Receiving Gifts

The Bible has much to say about spiritual gifts and their purpose. The Apostle Peter wrote, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Pet 4:10-11). That means “each has received a gift,” but it’s not for self-gratification or to be seen by others, but “to serve one another.” Regardless of where you read about spiritual gifts in the Bible, the underlying theme is that we should always use those gifts to minister to or edify others in the body of Christ. So how is it that we can recognize our spiritual gifts? How do we know if we have more than one?

Recognizing Spiritual Gifts

Gifts of the Spirit are not to be confused with the fruits of the Spirit, which are “joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23a), and even those are produced by abiding in the Vine, Jesus Christ (John 15:1-8). Without Him, we cannot bear any godly fruit at all (John 15:5), so just as we cannot produce godly fruit on our own, we can’t pray down the gifts of the Spirit into our lives. The Apostle Paul wrote that “God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose” (1 Cor 12:18). It is His choice, not ours. And there’s no reason to covet someone else’s gift because “there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone” (1 Cor 12:6), so obviously God “apportions to each one individually as he wills” (1 Cor 12:11b). This much we know; God gives spiritual gifts to everyone in the church, and God decides which gifts are given to believers. God wants you to know your spiritual gifts so that you can benefit others, as “each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor 12:7), but one way to find out what your spiritual gift is, would be to find a place to serve and see if your gift fits your service, whatever that is.

Using Gifts

The Apostle Paul wrote that since we have “gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness” (Rom 12:6-8). Sometimes it’s obvious that someone has the gift of teaching, some are better at administration, some at discernment, some in giving, and others who show hospitality or mercy. I would ask people what they think I’m gifted in or ask them what they think I’m good at good at. We might have blind spots and not even know what we’ve been gifted in, so ask! If you feel holy pleasure in doing what you’re doing, and you’re good at it, you might have found your niche in the church. That is putting the gift of the Spirit to work for the good of the church.

Here is a summary of some of the spiritual gifts as listed in the Bible, although there may be more than these:

Administration (1 Corinthians 12)

Discernment (1 Corinthians 12)

Evangelism, Exhortation & Pastor (Romans12; Ephesians 4)

Giving (Romans 12)

Helps & Service (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12)

Hospitality (1 Peter 4:9-10)

Leadership (Romans 12)

Mercy (Romans 12)

Teaching (Romans 12)

A Diversity of Gifts

Take a look at what you do best and use that talent to serve the Lord and everyone else. If you don’t use it, you might lose it, or at least the ability to use this gift, because one man rightly said, “Showing up is 90% of serving.” I’ve spent time taking written tests to determine my “spiritual gifts” and something I noticed is that no matter who developed the test or where I took the test, the results slightly differed. I did discover that the spiritual gifts that God gives are for us to grow and develop as a whole, so here are three questions you might want to ask yourself: What pleases God, what is the desire of my heart, and what is the most prominent or obvious spiritual gift(s) I’ve been given? Is it in administration; does it deal with discernment; does it include service and teaching? There really is no magic formula or definitive test that can tell us exactly what all of our spiritual gifts are. The Holy Spirit distributes the gifts as He determines (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). He will equip us with whatever gift or gifts we need to accomplish the task He has called us to.

Identifying Gifts

Identifying our spiritual gifts can be accomplished in various ways. Spiritual gift tests or inventories, while not to be fully relied upon, can definitely help us understand where our gifting might be. Confirmation from others also gives light to our spiritual giftedness. Other people who see us serving the Lord can often identify a spiritual gift in use that we might take for granted or we might not even realize we have it. Prayer is essential. The one person who knows exactly how we are spiritually gifted is the Giftgiver Himself…the Holy Spirit, so we can ask God to show us how we’re gifted in order to help the church function.


If we use our gifts for the good of others, but ignore other areas to serve in, we’re missing the point. Having the gift of administration does not excuse us from helping others in the church. Having the gift of teaching doesn’t mean you can’t wash the dishes in the fellowship hall. Gifts are primarily for the church, while fruits are evidence of the church, so I hope you can find your spiritual gift(s) and use them for the church; building one another up in the faith. The gifts of the Spirit are needed now more than ever, but a gift is only good if you open it up, see what it is, and then use it!

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • pud

    Your infantile gibberish gets more frenetic and delusional by the day jack.

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    Researchers have designed a synthetic small protein that wraps around a metal core composed of iron and sulfur. This protein can be repeatedly charged and discharged, allowing it to shuttle electrons within a cell. Such peptides may have existed at the dawn of life, moving electrons in early metabolic cycles. Credit: Vikas Nanda/Rutgers University-New Brunswick
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    How did life arise on Earth? Rutgers researchers have found among the first and perhaps only hard evidence that simple protein catalysts—essential for cells, …
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    How did life arise on Earth? Researchers have found among the first and perhaps only hard evidence that simple protein catalysts — essential for cells, the ..

    OOPPS! No “garden of eden” here jack!

    Define for EVERYONE what a “spirit” is, what “spiritual” is and how you know they exist…..WHAT? You can’t? So you admit these are just nonsense words right?…good for you! Your first baby step towards the real world.


    • Glory

      Bible Verses About AngerWisdom & Patience Key to Overcoming Anger
      Proverbs 14:16,17 (KJV) A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated

      Read more:

      I hit the wrong button. Not replying to pud but just verse quoting for anyone reading the thread.

      • pud

        Oh, don’t forget these gems….which you all do because you’re lunatics who care nothing for reality or the truth

        1. God himself will kill tens of thousands if it pleases him: 1st Samuel 6:19 in the King James Version: “And he smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men (50,070)”. Kill 50 000 men for looking at something?

        2. You can kill a woman if she seizes a man’s private parts without his permission: Deuteronomy 25:11-1: If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

        3. Perversity and human trafficking condoned: “Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse.” (1 Peter 2:18)

        4. Sex slavery condoned: “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.”
        Exodus 21: 7-8

        5. Divorce akin to debauchery: “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” (Luke 16:18)

        6. Cannibalism: “And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son….” (II Kings 6:28-29)

        • Glory

          Sorry but I no longer read the posts of vehemently confirmed atheists. That way I guard my heart from evil thinking and error.

          • pud

            LOL! You’re a fine cult member. Sadly EVERYTHING you hold dear is in error and worse you don’t care.

          • Glory

            I don’t read confirmed atheist posts so why are you stalking me?

            Because without Jesus you don’t have enough peace in your heart to assert enough self control to stop messaging me.

            You have no self control only a raging river of unholy anger driving you to dump all over strangers all over the Internet.

            I hope you repent because you really need to get some godly self control.

            Now don’t bother me again until you surrender to Jesus and allow him to exorcise those evil spirits you are continuously laboring under.

            A lack of self control is a sign of irrationality and the devil inspires irrationality.

            I hope you learn to hold God’s truth in your heart until it calms that anger management problem you have.

            Peace Be With You! And remember God loves everyone all the time and He can calm the waters of your raging soul.

          • pud

            LOL…I would suggest you seek medical attention asap. You are clearly mentally ill….OOOH! Look out! A demon! bhwaa

            Demonstrate that any “jesus” ever existed

            Demonstrate that any “god” ever existed

            Demonstrate that a “soul” exists

            Demonstrate that a “devil” exists

            Demonstrate that “spiritis” exist evil or otherwise

            These are serious delusions that require a trained mental health expert to deal with…seek help

          • Glory

            We seriously need the FBI to look into why you are stalking people on this blog trying to force them to argue by verbally abusing them.

            You are not a licensed psychiatrist and faith is not mental illness according to the psychiatric community.

            So you are not only stalking you are also perpetrating a con claiming a licensed medical opinion’s authority that you don’t have.

          • pud

            No, you need serious psychological intervention.

            1. You do not have to reply.

            2. This is a public forum with a comment section

            3. Jack is free to block me anytime he wishes…he hasn’t

            4. No one is “forcing” anyone to do anything

            5. Ridiculous ideas deserve ridicule. Don’t confuse rational ridicule with “abuse” tender flower

            6. “Faith” is “believing” things without evidence…it is therefore irrational and a mental deficiency

            7. I don’t claim any “authority” only being in possession of a rational mind that’s able to spot delusional ones

            You need to crack open your dictionary instead of your book of fables once in a while

          • Glory

            Stop messaging me. You seem to need attention desperately. But I don’t have time to entertain the evil thinking of people who won’t protect themselves from evil. That is irrational not to protect oneself from evil and the communication of it.

            Goodbye. I am sorry that you are so irresponsible that you don’t even know to protect yourself. I hope you wake up and smell the coffee someday. God bless!

  • Hi Jack,

    Are these gifts given at birth to everybody? Can they be learned? Or, are they only given to the members of the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit?

    Take the so-called gift of administration! Don’t non Christians have this gift? Are those that are good administrators born with the gift? Don’t some learn about how to be a good administrator at university courses on business administration? If the gift of administration is only given to the members of the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit, what is different about this kind of administration and any other kind of good administration?

    What is the difference between a natural gift and a so-called miraculous gift?

  • Hi Jack,

    I notice that you don’t refer to the so-called ‘gift of tongues’ which many Pentecostal Christians claim to have. Is this a learned gift or a so-called ‘miraculous’ gift? Can anyone learn it (Christian or non Christian)? or is it only given to the members of the body of Christ?

    Pentecostals claim that this gift is a supernatural or miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit given to some of those members of the body of Christ who have been baptised in the Holy Spirit with the so-called initial evidence of speaking in tongues. The person who speaks in tongues is supposed to speak in another language which they have never learned. This would be miraculous if it actually occurred.

    But isn’t speaking in tongues a learned experience in the church where someone speaks gobbledegook but claims that they are speaking in a foreign language which they have never learned. Someone with the so-called gift of interpretation allegedly gives the meaning about what was spoken in tongues.

    Linguists have studied these claims to speak in tongues, but found them to be bogus. They often don’t bear the structure of language but are nonsense syllables spoken by the Pentecostal or Charismatic speaker.

    Do you believe in the gift of ‘tongues’? if so, why? If not, why not?

    • pud

      All of it sounds like some Italian flavored gibberish too! LOL

      It’s another manifestation of what goes on in gullible minds when whipped up into a frenzy by a charismatic speaker and a large willing group. It’s why the great cathedrals were built, why music, choirs and huge pipe organs are part of services. It’s why the melodies of hymns are always uplifiting. All of these techniques are tried and true means to condense individual thinking people into group think cult members. It worked for every political organization, religious organization, every ideology, every cult. People are highly social and “belonging” is a critical factor in why people do what they do and align themselves against their better judgement with Jihad, nazis, Trump, communism, pentacostals, moonies etc. Being the lone man out is a path few are able to do. Independent critical thinking is difficult to do. It’s far easier for the human pattern seeking primates to go along to get along. This is why even in this day and age when we KNOW that none of the crap in the bible is true people still gather in “flocks” rather than confront the ancient infantile dogma and myths of religion. Its why they defend to the death the indefensible and the absurd. It’s why jack will never see the actual light of reality.

  • Glory

    Love reading your articles, Pastor Wellman. Great clarity.

    Too bad pud likes to live a life of denial on this blog trying to overturn your godly teaching.

    But God says pud knows he exists in Romans 1.

    And the ultimate in foolishness in God’s eyes might be attempts to derail good spiritual teaching.

    Proverbs 1:7, KJV: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

    I don’t know why so many “fools” denigrate their own minds in favor of science but they do.

    They throw their God given mind weighing judgment capability out in favor of a method i.e. science made by fallible people.

    The most intelligent acknowledge science has it’s limits.

    It is the dishonest who allow science to make metaphysical claims that it has no authority to make.

    God bless you for your patient perseverance, Pastor! You are a beacon of light on a hill in a dark world!

  • Scoobiedevida ala swilizatha ton novorincia.

    Speaking in Tongues! Just make it up. Someone is sure to interpret it and say “Praise the Lord, Hallelujah”. Which gifts of the Spirit belong to today and which were just for the church prior to the completion of the NT? And how do you determine which are really genuine? If God does not exist, then it is all baloney.