Do You Wish God Had “Gifted” You Differently?

Flame-background Over the last couple of days I have started church planter assessment and preparation for further training with Kairos Church Planting Support. Part of the preparation is taking assessments of everything from personality to marital health to readiness to plant a church–and of course, spiritual gifts. According to the spiritual gifts inventory, my primary spiritual gifts are: Leadership, Wisdom, Discernment, Teaching

I don't know about you, but whenever I take these tests, I'm amazed at how precise they can be…and mildly miffed that I continue to score low on things I wish I had more of. Here are the lowest in my gifts inventory: Craftsmanship (the lowest–Ok, I can live with that), Intercession, Mercy, Helps.

Granted, spiritual "gifts" inventories are really more "passion" inventories. They tell us how we are wired, not necessarily what we are good at or how we behave. One can act mercifully without wanting to. I have to do it all the time 🙂 One can serve even when one does not feel compelled to do so because they know they should.

Spiritual gift inventories are really passion inventories and are helpful for discovering our "sweet spot"–the place we can serve God with the most joy. However… I still can't help wishing at times I was a bit more this or less that. I bet you can relate.

Generally, however, we're better off working from our areas of strength rather than spending our lives trying to cover our weaknesses. This is for two reasons. First, it acknowledges the way we are made. The Bible says the Holy Spirit gifted us as He chose (1 Cor. 12:11) and we should have reverence for that. Second, we'll serve with greater energy and joy when we're in our sweet spot. God doesn't just love cheerful givers. He loves cheerful servants, as well.

When it comes to spiritual formation, it makes perfect sense to cultivate parts of our character that need formation or repentance. However, we will always serve best with that part of us that came pre-formed by God and enlivened by His Spirit at our baptism. 

So, as I help lead New Vintage Church from whatever meager gifts God has given me, I'll get to work on that craftsmanship weakness of mine 🙂 Or maybe I'll just be thankful for how God made me, and ask Him to complete the work He began in me as I open myself up to being completed by Him.

Question: Do you ever wish you had been "gifted" differently? How important is it for us to work on developing areas of "giftedness" we don't currently have?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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One thought on “Do You Wish God Had “Gifted” You Differently?

  1. Thanks again, Tim. I really hear you, especially re the craftsmanship thing 😉
    2 things come to mind: first, if I’m weak in an area of real gifting, it may mean that I need to do something about it (deistic as that sounds). But it also moves me to work with others who are strong in my areas of weakness … so a mature discussion of giftedness will inevitably involve community, and never simply me in relative isolation. Of course you knew that already 😉
    Second, I’ve become uncomfortable with our perception of spiritual gifts, especially as laid out in “giftometrics.” Would the NT talk about gifts, discovering them, balancing them, etc. the way that we do? I agree with your perception that gifts tests are more passions tests than anything else.
    Your previous post re deism in Churches of Christ, linked with this one, suggests to me that our definition of spiritual gifts might be anachronistic. I wonder if we’re reading our experience (and non-experience) back into the NT. So we’re going to tend to define NT gifts like prophecy, teaching, administration, healing, etc. in an ersatz manner that’s more in tune with our 21-st century business management/psychological categories …
    Can we do it differently?