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Spiritual Gifts: Discover What Yours Are & How to Use Them

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Spiritual Gifts. As believers, we were given special abilities called spiritual gifts when the Holy Spirit of God entered us. Each of us, however, as created by God to be unique individuals, have different gifts. Identifying your spiritual gifts and understanding them is key to learning where God would have you serve His people and where you will find joy.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

– Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

And in 1 Corinthians 12:1:

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.

1 Corinthians 12:1 (ESV)
shadow of woman reach up to helpin hands for the post on spiritual gifts

What Spiritual Gifts Are Not

Before we explore the spiritual gifts, let’s first explore what spiritual gifts are NOT:

1. Natural aptitudes, strengths or abilities.

We all have natural gifts or abilities that we’ve learned from those around us regardless of Christian faith. Many times our natural talents and strengths are redeemed by the Lord, becoming a supernatural ability, aka spiritual gifts.

2. Character Traits 

We are all called to have character and our gifts should produce the nature of Jesus Christ in each persona. A person should not say he has the “gift of peace” when we are all encouraged to develop that characteristic. Spiritual gifts offer opportunities for us to exemplify Jesus Christ.

3. Titles or positions

Spiritual gifts often lead to titles or positions but a person may have the gifts without the role or the role without the gift. Regardless, we should serve God’s people whenever we are given the opportunity. Working in the area of your gifting will allow you to be the person that God has called you to be rather than just doing good things.

4. Self-promoting

Spiritual gifts are endowments given to the follower of Jesus by God for accomplishing His purpose on earth. Spiritual gifts are given for the glory of God.

Picture of dove for post Spiritual gifts: what they are, identifying and using yours

How do you receive spiritual gifts?

  1.  Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior
  2. Acquire faith and truth in the area of spiritual gifts
  3. Apply yourself to learning about spiritual gifts
  4. Ask the Lord to give you spiritual gifts

First, you must be a Christian and therefore one in whom the Holy Spirit of God dwells. Second, you must be doing the work of Christ, or, at any rate, be readily available for that work. You won’t receive supernatural abilities or gifts of the Holy Spirit by locking yourself in the closet and praying for them until they show up, though it is certainly appropriate to ask God for the gifts you need.

You won’t receive spiritual gifts if you live as a Christian couch potato, watching the action but never getting involved. You will receive extra bits of grace for the work of ministry only when you step out in faith to minister.

How do you know what your spiritual gifts are?

Of course, you can pray and ask God to reveal them to you. You can also take a spiritual gifts assessment.

Here are some online spiritual gifts assessments that you can take if you are interested in learning what your spiritual gifts are:

Church Growth

Spiritual Gifts Test

Gifts Test

S.H.A.P.E Test

And a few to help your children discover their spiritual gifts:

Spiritual Gifts Test for Youth

Kids Spiritual Gifts Survey

Spiritual Gifts Test for K-6

Your spiritual gifts may change a bit over the years, as mine have (spiritual gifts tie into your temperament and personality, which matures and grows during your lifetime).

Blurry picture of cross for post Spiritual gifts: what they are, identifying and using yours

Types of Spiritual Gifts :

(Note: Some assessments and churches recognize just seven, and others recognize twenty.)


The spiritual gift of administration is the divine strength or ability to organize multiple tasks and a group of people to accomplish said tasks.

  • Detail oriented
  • Develops strategies to reach a goal
  • Can bring order out of chaos
  • Action-oriented
  • Can build a successful system to bring about effective ministry
  • Efficient/Thorough/Organized/Conscientious

(Luke 14:28-30Acts 6:1-71 Corinthians 12:28)


The divine strength or ability to pioneer new churches and ministries through planting, overseeing, and training.

  • Builder, visionary, entrepreneurial spirit, pioneer

(Acts 15:22-251 Corinthians 12:282 Corinthians 12:12Galatians 2:7-10Ephesians 4:11-14)


The divine strength or ability to plan, build and work with your hands in construction environments to accomplish multiple ministry applications (some tests also consider craftiness and artistry in this gift).

  • Ability to work with your hands crafting materials such as wood, cloth, metal, stone, paint, paper or glass
  • Enjoy the process of creating and seeing the results of the labor
  • Enjoy seeing this gift meeting a tangible need in ministry
  • Ability to make things that improve the effectiveness of others’ ministries
  • Creative/Practical/Designer/Handy/Helpful/Resourceful/Behind-the-scenes

(2 Chronicles 34:9-13Acts 18:2-3)


The divine strength or ability to spiritually identify falsehood and to distinguish between right and wrong motives and situations. 

  • Listener to both God and man/perceiving/insightful/sees beneath the surface

(Matthew 16:21-23Acts 5:1-111 Corinthians 12:10)

Picture of green background with text We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, the prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully Romans 12:6-8 for post Spiritual gifts: what they are, identifying and using yours


The divine strength or ability to help non-Christians take the necessary steps to becoming a born-again Christian.

  • Strong desire to share the good news of Christ with others
  • Ability to naturally turn a conversation toward Christ
  • Desires to build relationships with non-believers
  • Adaptable in presenting the good news of Christ to the various needs of others
  • Not afraid to challenge non-believers to follow Christ
  • Sincere/Bold/Candid/Confident

(Acts 8:5-6Acts 8:26-40Ephesians 4:11-14)


The spiritual gift of exhortation is the divine strength or ability to encourage others through the written or spoken word and biblical truth.

  • Perceptive to the needs of others
  • Comes alongside of discouraged and hurting people to comfort and strengthen
  • Loves to point people toward God and His promises for hope
  • Motivates others to grow
  • Tends to have people see them out for counsel and support
  • Positive/Compassionate/Motivating/Supportive/Sensitive

(Acts 14:22Romans 12:81 Timothy 4:13)


The spiritual gift of faith is the divine strength or ability to believe in God for unseen supernatural results in every area of life.

  • A deep commitment to Scripture/resilient faith/ unquestioning faith in God

(Acts 11:22-24Romans 4:18-211 Corinthians 12:9)


The divine strength or ability to produce wealth and to give by tithe and offerings for the purpose of advancing the Kingdom of God on earth.

  • Desire to give toward growth in God’s Kingdom
  • Does not seek fanfare and recognition
  • May have a special ability to make money and therefore able to give more to God
  • Effective in managing their money
  • Generous giving brings real joy to their lives
  • Sacrificial/Informed/Disciplined/Resourceful/Charitable

(Mark 12:41-44Romans 12:82 Corinthians 8:1-7)


The spiritual gift of healing is the divine strength or ability to act as an intermediary in faith, prayer and by the laying on of hands for the healing of physical and mental illnesses.

  • A deep belief in Gods compassion and power/Merciful-empathetic /Attentive/Insightful

(Acts 3:1-10Acts 9:32-351 Corinthians 12:9)


The divine strength or ability to work in a supportive role, offering practical help, for the accomplishment of tasks in Christian ministry and church community.

  • Behind the scenes service to others
  • Sensitive to the needs of others and willing to help meet those needs
  • Serving is the heartbeat of their lives
  • Sees serving as a spiritual discipline
  • Helpful/Willing/Dependable/Practical/“Whatever it takes”

(Mark 15:40-41Acts 9:36Romans 16:1-2)

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The spiritual gift of hospitality is the divine strength or ability to create warm, welcoming environment for others in places such as your home, office or church.

  • Ability to create an atmosphere of warmth where people feel welcome, loved and cared for
  • Help new people feel welcome
  • Create an environment where fellowship can be experience and relationships built
  • Help people feel at ease in a new and unfamiliar setting
  • Friendly/Sensitive/Inviting/Trusting/Warm/Caring

(Acts 16:14-15Romans 12:13Hebrews 13:1-2)


The divine strength or ability to stand in the gap in prayer for someone, something or someplace, believing profound results.

  • Believe in and experience the power of prayer
  • Feel led to pray for something even if there is no clear explanation as to why
  • Aware of the spiritual battles going on every day
  • Willing to spend time in daily personal prayer
  • Eagerly looks for answers to prayers
  • Persistent/Consistent/Humble/Spiritually Sensitive/Advocate

(Hebrews 7:25, Colossians 1:9-12James 5:14-16)


The divine strength or ability to understand and to bring clarity to situations and circumstance often accompanied by a word from God.

  • Ability to think analytically and objectively
  • Loves to dig into Scripture to discover new insights
  • Able to organize information for practical use and teaching
  • Confident that biblical truth can transform lives
  • Inquisitive/Responsive/Discerning/Studious/Observant/Insightful

(Acts 5:1-111 Corinthians 12:8Colossians 2:2-3)


The divine strength or ability to influence people at their level while directing and focusing them on the big picture, vision or idea.

  • Goal/Vision oriented/Determined/Able to inspire others to follow

(Romans 12:81 Timothy 3:1-13Hebrews 13:17)


The divine strength or ability to feel empathy and to are for those who are hurting in any way.

  • Ability to discern the pain in others
  • Could have suffering in your past that heightens your level of empathy
  • Able to come alongside the hurting and respond in an appropriate manner
  • Feels for and serves the lonely and outcasts
  • Serve cheerfully in situations where the conditions are difficult and desperate
  • Empathetic/Caring/Responsive/Listener/Compassionate/Loving/Sensitive

(Matthew 9:35-26Mark 9:411 Thessalonians 5:14)


The divine strength or ability to alter the natural outcome of life in a supernatural way – the working of miracles. 

  • Prophetic/boldness/steeped in scripture/unquestioning faith in God

(Acts 9:36-42Romans 15:18-191 Corinthians 12:10)


The divine strength or ability to reach others outside of your culture and nationality, while in some cases living in that culture or nation.

  • An intense feeling of unease at the thought of all the unsaved people in the world
  • Adapt themselves and core Biblical principles to different surroundings by being culturally sensitive and aware
  • Ability to reach out to people groups of a different ethnicity, language, or cultural background
  • Establish meaningful relationships with people of other nationalities or cultures
  • Desire to minister to unreached people in other communities or countries

(Acts 8:4Acts 13:2-3Romans 10:15)


The divine strength or ability to sing, dance, or play and instrument primarily for the purpose of helping others worship God.

  • Have a passion for leading others in worship by using the gift of music
  • Asked to play, sing, or use talents for God in a worship service
  • Creative/“Artsy”/Musical/Worshipful/Passionate

(Deuteronomy 31:221 Samuel 16:16Psalm 150)


The divine strength or ability to care for the personal need of others by nurturing and mending life issues.

  • Loves being with and ministering to the whole body of Christ
  • People rather than task-oriented
  • Is energized by helping and supporting others in their walk with Christ
  • Models with lifestyle what it means to be a follower of Christ
  • Develops trust through long-term relationships
  • Influencer, Relational, Guide, Protective, Supportive

(John 10:1-18Ephesians 4:11-14, 1 Timothy 3:1-7)


The divine strength or ability to boldly speak and bring clarity to scriptural and doctrinal truth, in some case foretelling God’s plan. 

  • Speak God’s word to others, or more appropriately to be open for God to speak God’s word through us.
  • Prophets do not predict the future, but offer insight and perspective on current conditions and how things might turn out if changes aren’t made.
  • Prophets are incisive, clear, and often controversial, communicators.
  • Prophets see things that others often don’t, and they have the courage to “tell it like it ought to be.”

(Acts 2:37-401 Corinthians 14:1-41 Thessalonians 1:5)


The divine strength or ability to do different kinds of service through small or great tasks in working for the overall good of the body of Christ.

  • Willing to serve behind the scenes to support the ministries of others
  • Ability to see the practical things that need to be done and do them
  • Thrives on helping others – It is what motivates
  • Attaches spiritual value to practical service
  • Enjoys knowing that what they do frees others up to fulfill God’s call on their life
  • Available/Willing/Faithful/Practical/“Whatever It Takes” attitude

(Acts 6:1-7Romans 12:7Galatians 6:10)

Spiritual gifts, using your spiritual gifts, spiritual gifts assessment


The divine strength or ability to study and learn from the scriptures primarily to bring understanding and depth to other Christians.

(Acts 18:24-281 Corinthians 12:28Ephesians 4:11-14)

Tongues (and Interpretation)

The divine strength or ability to pray in a heavenly language to encourage your spirit and to commune with God. The gift of tongues is often accompanied by the spiritual gift of interpretation of tongues and should be used appropriately.

  • This is a miraculous or “sign” gift
  • Can be used as a personal prayer language
  • Speaking a language that the speaker has never learned before
  • Can be used to deepen their relationship with God
  • Used with the gift of interpretation of tongues can encourage those who hear it

(Acts 2:1-131 Corinthians 12:101 Corinthians 14:1-14)


The divine strength or ability to apply the specific pieces of information and the truths of scripture in a practical way, producing the fruitful outcome and character of Jesus Christ.

  • Focus on the unseen consequences as they determine the next steps to take
  • Receive an understanding of what is necessary to meet the needs of others
  • Offer advice through God-given solutions in times of difficulty, conflict, and confusion
  • Hear God’s direction in a given situation
  • Apply spiritual truth in specific and practical ways

(Acts 6:3Acts 6:101 Corinthians 2:6-13)

Now that you know what your spiritual gifts are, what’s next?

  • Investigate your feelings
  • Identify opportunities
  • Inspect your results
  • Put them to use

At most of the churches I’ve been a member of since I was saved, the church had a formal process regarding spiritual gifts. Usually, taking a spiritual gifts assessment during a new member class then meeting with a pastor to get plugged in to ministry opportunities where members could put their spiritual gifting to use. If your church doesn’t offer this, take one of the spiritual gifts assessments above and spend time in prayer asking God how you are called to use the different kinds of gifts given to you by the Holy Spirit.

Meet with your pastor and ask for his advice on where you can serve the body of Christ to use your spiritual gifts.

Spiritual gifts are often used to serve the church and the church body, but you may also wish to use your gifts in your daily life outside of your church home such as volunteering, starting a Bible study in your home, praying for neighbors and friends, sharing the message of the gospel, starting a card ministry. The way in which you can use your spiritual gifts are endless.

If you try one ministry opportunity and it doesn’t feel right, try another.

Ask God to reveal to you your spiritual gifts and where He would have you use them.

I recently retook the spiritual gifts assessment and found that I had not just one dominant spiritual gift, but four:





All make perfect sense as a Christian author and speaker and mixed media and paper artist.

I use my gifts to help with church events, encourage others by sending cards and notes of encouragement and serving in other church ministries.

You may enjoy this sermon by Social Media Ministries on this topic:

Or one of these recommended resources:

Understanding Spiritual Gifts: A Comprehensive Guide by Sam Storms 

The Spiritual Gifts Handbook: Using Your Gifts to Build the Kingdom by Randy Clark, Mary Healy 

Have you taken a spiritual gifts assessment? What are your spiritual gifts? How are you using them? Tell me in the comments below or email me at: [email protected] – I’d love to hear about it!

Now that you know your spiritual gifts, consider your spiritual maturity. What is “spiritually mature”? What does it mean? Learn more in this post.

Because of Him,


ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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Spiritual Gifts – I AM PHYLOSOPHY

Sunday 14th of August 2022

[…] Spiritual Gifts: What They Are, Identifying & Using Yours […]


Friday 2nd of October 2020

The teaching was a gift for this generation , keep it up remain bless

Susan Nelson

Saturday 3rd of October 2020

Thank you. I apprciate the support. I'm glad it blessed you. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all used our spiritual gifts? God bless you!


Saturday 12th of September 2020

I took one of the tests. My spiritual gifts are: Mercy, Helps, Exhortation, Intercession, Pastor/Shepherd This was very interesting to see. God is moving in my life and making me a more compassionate person. I know that He is softening my heart. I've never been a "people person" and it's interesting to see where God is changing that about me.

Susan Nelson

Sunday 13th of September 2020

That's great! Believe it or not, I had not been a people person, myself, but God, oh God! He had different plans for me. Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed day!

dr lixon chikumbirike

Monday 3rd of August 2020

Geetings in the mighty name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Yes i i have taken a gifts assessments and my spiritual gifts are prophesy and healings. I have just recently started using them, but not widely. I hope with your wise counsel i will be greatly assited in advancing them for the glory of God the Almighty. I thank you in advance. Looking forward to constantly hear from you, and be pruned to have an intimate relationship with the Father of glory favour and mercy Almight God. Amen.

Susan Nelson

Tuesday 4th of August 2020

I"m so glad you know your gifts to advance the Kingdom. I pray that God uses you in mighty ways to make disciples of all nations and love as He loves us. Thanks for stopping by.

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