What are Spiritual Gifts?

Spiritual gifts are those characteristics given to every individual by God in the commission of His service. Spiritual gifts, as defined here, are special but not miraculous. They are manifested and demonstrated in the person of Jesus Christ as a man and who showed all of the gifts (of both kinds) as easily identified in the accounts of the New Testament.

Spiritual gifts are not simply personal preferences or character traits as a result of our upbringing or experience, it goes much deeper. It could be said that it’s a part of our spiritual DNA, in that it reaches to the soul of who we are, how we live our lives and how we interact and engage with others. Another way of looking at it is ‘our special, God-given talents’ that we use everyday but are unaware of its unique influences.

“Each person has spiritual DNA (Divine Natural Ability) which makes them unique not only in personality, but also in their service to the Lord.”

Doug Hamilton

Whether your gifts are in teaching, giving of yourself and resources, confronting wrongdoing or showing compassion to the wayward souls around you, your gifts should always be used to show the love of God. Experience, of course, helps but your natural abilities and tendencies is what we focus on when talking about spiritual gifts.

Understanding your spiritual gifts is important to know where you would be most effective in your service. Likewise, there are some areas where you might need improvement to be more effective in your current capacity. This is especially important in areas of church leadership.

A practical explanation of spiritual gifts is covered extensively in my book on this subject. The Spiritual Giftedness Test, while not intended to be overly scientific, is an excellent start to identifying what your gifts are in relation to Christ and other prominent figures in scripture.