I love taking online quizzes where I find out which ice cream flavour matches my personality (strawberry) or what’s the best breed of dog for my lifestyle (Corgi). Of course, these quizzes are just for fun and don’t mean much but it is nice to feel normal and understood.
But not all tests are silly. There are scientific personality tests, which help you understand yourself and others better. And then there are spiritual gifts tests, which are supposed to help you discover which gift you have. I’ve taken spiritual gift tests before and found the exercise helpful and informative.
Although the details and delegation of spiritual gifts aren’t explained in great detail, the Bible is clear they exist and are given to believers by the Holy Spirit intended to edify the Body.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:4–7 NIV)
The passage goes on to highlight wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, and interpreting of tongues.
Perhaps it helps to keep in mind spiritual gifts aren’t specific skills or talents, but a spiritual passion or urge leading to action. For some this is to remain single and not marry, so their attention can be devoted to the Lord. And for others this passion develops into an urge to pray for healing at certain junctures. These are often the impulses from the Holy Spirit and we can learn to recognize and grow these passions.
Spiritual gifts tests can help point you to areas you may be gifted in, but another way to discover your gifts is to spend time in prayer and reflect on what you’re already passionate about. If you suspect an area, go and do it with intention. The more you become involved in a certain aspect of ministry you will find your passion either subsides or intensifies. If it does grow, this is probably an area you’re gifted in and you should continue doing. If it does not, don’t be discouraged! Continue following your passions and trying new areas of ministry until something sticks.
There are many spiritual gifts mentioned in Scripture. Here are some starting points.
- 1 Corinthians 7
- 1 Corinthians 12
- Romans 8
- Romans 12
- Ephesians 4
- 1 Peter