By Marilyn Turk
Recently, I began a study on spiritual gifts.
The Bible has four chapters that address these gifts—Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4 and 1 Peter 4. The gifts are divided into Motivational, Ministry and Manifestation.
Although I haven’t learned all I need to know about these gifts, it’s been eye-opening to discover what my gifts are. The truth is: every believer has at least one primary spiritual gift, but some believers have more than one. While it’s interesting to know what one’s gift is, it’s even more important to use them. And what’s the reason for us to have these gifts? For the benefit of others. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
Often people think they want to perform certain roles, but they find out it isn’t their forte because that’s not their gift. People perform best when they’re using the gifts they’ve been given. You’ve probably known of someone who wasn’t a good fit for their position—like putting a square peg in a round hole.
So in looking at my gifts, I’m challenged to see how or if I’m using them. Gifts are not the same as talents. Gifts are spiritual, but they can be used in a physical way.
Take, for example the gift of service. Chances are, if you’re not gifted with this, you don’t notice those who are, because these people don’t seek the limelight. They’re the ones in the background, the ones taking care of things behind the scenes that make other things happen. In our church, for example, they’re the people who handle clerical work voluntarily, the ones who set out the coffee on Sunday mornings, the ones who prepare the church for communion, etc. I’m so thankful for these people, especially because I’m not of one of them.
So how does a writer use his or her spiritual gift? I’ve learned that one of my gifts is teaching, the ability to understand and explain biblical truth, and one of its characteristics is loving to do research. How do I use that? Although I do lead a small group at our church, I realize that I also employ that gift in my writing. When I write devotionals, I see how God’s truth relates to everyday life.
But interestingly enough, I do the same in historical fiction (which I love to research), through the lives of the characters. Each of my main characters deals with some moral issue. In Rebel Light, Kate McFarlane learns how to trust and whom to trust. In The Gilded Curse, Lexie Smithfield learns about truth. In Shadowed by a Spy, Lexie faces fear, but finds God’s protection. In The Wrong Survivor, Lydia Palmer learns about forgiveness. These are all very real issues portrayed by fictional characters, and the answers are all found in God’s Word.
How fulfilling it is to know I can use my spiritual gift through writing.
Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? Are you using them?