4 Common Mistakes Christians Make with Their Spiritual Gifts
When you first find out about your spiritual gifts, it can be both interesting and quite exciting. You start wondering about just how God has gifted you. You naturally can not wait to see how you will use your God-given spiritual gifts to bless others and to Him glory.
However, like most people and being true to our human nature, we’ll most likely try to tell everyone about it. After all, what good is having spiritual gifts if you can’t share with others about it, right? So, you begin talking about the special gifts you’ve been blessed with and how those spiritual gifts play out in your everyday life. Now there’s nothing wrong with being excited and wanting to talk about your spiritual gifts with your Christian family members, but if you’re not mindful, it can lead you to make these 4 common mistakes Christians often make when it comes to their spiritual gifts.
Mistake # 1: Comparing Your Spiritual Gifts
You’re gifted with the spirit of administration but your friend in Christ got the gift of miracles (also known as the gift of healing) as her spiritual gift. This may cause you to be a little sad, especially if you’ve always dreamed of doing BIG things for God but instead you’re stuck doing what seems to be all the secretarial tasks. Meanwhile, your friend gets to do all the truly awesome stuff, like healing people.
A word of advice here, never compare your spiritual gifts with others. You’ll end up either discouraging yourself, others, or maybe even both. The Bible doesn’t rank our spiritual gifts, you shouldn’t either. Spiritual gifts are no different than any other areas of your life. You just have to trust that God has a purpose for gifting you the way He did.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 15 – One Body but Many Parts
12 There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. 13 We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. 14 So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts.
15 Suppose the foot says, “I am not a hand. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. 16 And suppose the ear says, “I am not an eye. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If the whole body were an ear, how could it smell? 18 God has placed each part in the body just as he wanted it to be. 19 If all the parts were the same, how could there be a body? 20 As it is, there are many parts. But there is only one body.
21 The eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 In fact, it is just the opposite. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are the ones we can’t do without. 23 The parts that we think are less important we treat with special honor. The private parts aren’t shown. But they are treated with special care. 24 The parts that can be shown don’t need special care. But God has put together all the parts of the body. And he has given more honor to the parts that didn’t have any. 25 In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy.
27 You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.
Mistake # 2: Keeping it to Yourself or Being a Hoarder
It may be tempting at times to not tell anyone about your spiritual gifts or talents. Your reasoning is, “If I tell that person my spiritual gift is being ‘helpful’, I’ll most likely get stuck helping out all the time with bake sales, or even worse be put on janitorial duty cleaning toilets.”
God gave you the gift He did because He desires you to enjoy it and share it with the body of Christ. The truth is, not everyone gets to have a glamorous job. Sometimes restocking the stalls in the lady’s bathroom may not feel all that important to you. But trust me on this, I’m pretty sure the person who’s using that stall will think it is. Also, try to look at it in a different way, like the message it sends to the brand new visitors. They’re probably thinking that this is a place where people are cared for or at least their basic needs of good hygiene are being met in God’s house, regardless of whether they’ve been attending for four minutes or forty years. They know that someone cared enough to take care of the place.
Let us consider Colossians 3:23-24 – Do It With Love
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
There can be dignity and love in everything you do when you’re doing it for the Lord.
Mistake # 3: Limiting Yourself
Chances are, you’ve been told in regards to what your spiritual gifts are. That’s because you’re most likely already serving in some form or another in the capacity of that area. It would be something in your comfort zone. For example, you may discover that your spiritual gift is in education and you may say, “Hey, well that makes a whole lot of sense since I happen to teach Sunday school every week and I love it!”
Having that A-ha moment is a great thing, but we can also be tempted to let our spiritual gifts define who we are as a person too. For example, instead of stepping out and trying something new, we often just stick to what we know. We might say, “Oh, that’s not for me. You need someone gifted in discernment and I’m just a Sunday school teacher.”
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with knowing what your spiritual gifts are, do not let it keep you from new opportunities and adventure that God may be leading you to. Why not be willing to step out, trust God and say, “I know this isn’t normally my area of gifting but I also know that God can give me His supernatural grace and use me to accomplish His will.”
Psalm 37:4 (NIV) – Don’t Limit God by Limiting Ourselves
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Mistake # 4: Becoming Prideful
It feels good to be acknowledged for our gifts. It’s a beautiful feeling when somebody acknowledges your hard work and efforts or openly praises you for your commitment, but be careful to not let it go to your head. It’s moments like these that can make a person become prideful.
It’s hard to can stay humble at times but we must remember to give God the glory. When someone says you’re a brilliant leader, you could say, “God is the leader. I’m just following Him.” Or when a friend compliments your wisdom, you can say, “All wisdom comes from God. He gave it to me.”
Knowing which spiritual gifts God has blessed you with can open new doors for you. When you begin to realize how God has gifted you, it’s simpler to select jobs as well as ministries that are better suitable for your personality.
Proverbs 16:18-19 NIV – Beware of the prideful heart
18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.