I have a neighbor, Katy, who loves to run–and fast! My husband has seen her running by the house on multiple occasions and has looked to see if someone is chasing her; that’s how fast she runs. It’s not uncommon for Katy wake up early in the morning or go out for a late at night after work; she loves running so much, she hates to let a day pass by without doing so.
Some time ago, Katy applied to run in the Boston Marathon. After many weeks of nervous anticipation, she received her acceptance letter. Now, it’s obvious that Katy is already a strong runner. So do you think that since she received her letter, has she kicked back and decided to relax? No! She has increased her training time, trying to prepare her body for the upcoming challenge of 26.2 strenuous miles in Boston.
In the same way that Katy has continued to run in preparation for her race, it is important that we continually grow our spiritual gifts by using them in ministry. Just because we have been given specific gifts doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement. In fact, Paul writes in 2 Tim. 1:6 that we should, “fan into flame the gift of God” (ESV); that is, we should always be working to grow our gifts to their full potential.
What are some ways that you can grow your gifts? Here are a few quick ideas:
- Participate in training sessions or seminars that will equip you.
- Gain further experience by doing ministry in harmony with your gifts.
- Accept and learn from the constructive criticism of others.
- Pray that God will reveal growth opportunities to you.
- Allow God to constantly shape and change you.
It is also important to remain open to additional spiritual gifts. Discovering our spiritual gifts is a life-long process; we must remain open to the possibility that God will give/reveal new gifts to us as we continue our relationship with Him. Isn’t it exciting to think that we may yet have untapped potential, no matter our age or stage in life?
If you have yet to discover your spiritual gifts, the time is now! God has great plans for you and desires for you to know and understand your gifts.
(A good resource for determining your spiritual gifts is the Three-Color Gift Test, found on pages 65-76 of The 3 Colors of Ministry or the NCD Gift Test.)