How Do You Know if You Have the Gift of Discernment?
Spritual Gift of Discernment
I don’t know about you, but I am intrigued with the spiritual gifts that God grants to every believer.
The Gift of Discernment is just one of many gifts of the Spirit. In this writing, I will list the manifestations of the Gift of Discernment. I hope to help you identify if you possess this gift and, if you do, to Glorify the God who entrusted you with it.
I will also list some of the other spiritual gifts. As you browse through these gifts from God, take note of His graciousness and goodness. It is God who enables us to minister and bless with the gifts He has given His children.
Other Spiritual Gifts
Just like the physical body has different parts and all of them work together (the hand combs the hair, feeds the body, satisfies the itch - the feet carry the body where it must go - the eyes show us what we need to see etc;) so is with spiritual gifts. Here are some scriptures listing the Spiritual Gifts God bestows on His children:
- I Corinthians 12:27-28 lists:Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first, apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of healing (service) of guidance and of different kinds of tongues.
- Romans 12:5-8 lists: So in Christ, we who are many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach, if it is encouraging, let him encourage, if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously, if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
- I Cor. 12 1-14 lists: Wisdom, knowledge, discerning of spirits (human, angelic, demonic), speaking in Tongues, interpretation of Tongues, prophecy, Faith, working of miracles, healing.
- Ephesians 4:11 lists: Apostolic, Prophetic, Evangelical, Pastoral, and Teaching.
God gives different gifts to each of His children to minister and complement the various needs of the body of Christ.
Some of his children are entrusted with one spiritual gift, others are blessed with several spiritual gifts. Each of us is accountable to use the gift(s) God gave us to bless others and to glorify Him.
Some of the gifts God entrusts to us are plain to see and easily identified by others. Other spiritual gifts, like the gift of a servant, are not so quickly identifiable. These inconspicuous spiritual gifts do not draw attention to the person who carries it; in fact, they often go unnoticed by people but never to the God who gave them the gift.
A spiritual gift is a trust ... a sacred trust that God has given to every believer.
Each spiritual gift is clearly identifiable.
As you read the list above, quoted from scripture, did you recognize one or more unique characteristics that are active and evident in your life?
It is important for every believer to know what their spiritual gift is so they can glorify God and use it to minister to others. Knowing your gift is just the beginning. Understanding it's manifestations and how to use it takes insight and discernment.
Your gift was given to you so you might minister to the body of Christ and win others to Him.
To demonstrate the manifestation of a spiritual gift, I will illustrate by story and application for four of the gifts.
- The gift of mercy,
- The gift of helps
- The gift of teaching
- The gift of a prophet
Gift of Mercy: Let me tell you about my friend Betsy. Betsy has the gift of mercy. When you tell Betsy about a hurt in your life her face expresses deep empathy and compassion, you can literally watch it rising within her. Betsy feels your pain and may even cry with you. People feel understood when they share their hearts with Betsy; they feel loved too by a genuine heart of caring. Betsy shares her time and attention freely. When you need a friend, Betsy is your girl. Betsy must learn, though, to guard her heart. As Betsy’s heart of compassion fills with hurt, it is easy for her to pick up and carry pain. She must learn to turn those cares over to Jesus or other people’s pain will consume her.
Gift of Helps: Sharon serves with her whole heart. It is a natural thing to her. When Tommy spills the milk, she is the first one to jump up, grab a towel and sop up the mess. Sharon does not draw attention to herself but quietly does what God called her to do - serve. When she sees a need her servant's heart goes after it, meeting that need.
Gift of Teaching: Tony has the gift of teaching. His gift enables him to take a tough concept and break it down into a thought that is easy to grasp. He also has an uncanny ability to tell stories and give examples which help people to embrace the practical application and apply it to their life. The gift of teaching makes Tony a powerful influence. People seek Tony out for wisdom and insight. He is also a popular speaker because his gift is appreciated and recognized by the body of Christ.
Gift of Prophecy: Jody has the gift of a prophet. She is a truth teller and is likely to be one of the first to speak up in any given situation. Jody voices herself, particularly when discerning any injustice. Jody doesn't always seek to be a public figure but offers counsel and explains the exact issue that needs to be addressed. She will also follow up to make sure her guidance is adhered.
Did you see yourself in any of these attributes? Know that God will use your spiritual gift (as His hands, feet, and mouth) to share the good news and to bless many. There are more spiritual gifts listed in Scripture, but the purpose here is reveal there are many gifts of the Spirit.
Gifted with Discernment?
How do you know if you have the gift of discernment? Here’s a hint. Those who possess the spiritual gift of discernment can see right through smokescreens and obstacles as they uncover the truth.
The source of the gift of discernment is God. Discernment springs from the truth taught in His word. The insights that come from discernment stem from solid knowledge, understanding, and a firm belief in God's word.
Let me share some manifestations of the gift of Discernment. If you have this gift the following expressions will ring true to you:
- Are you passionate about truth?
- When you are placed in a situation where discernment is needed, do you experience an uncanny sense of knowing?
- Does scripture flood your mind as you weigh the happenings?
- Do you read between the lines?
- Are you gifted with the ability to uncover wrong or evil?
- Do you expose lies and bring them into the light of sound reason and truth?
If this depiction of discernment describes you, thank God for entrusting you with this extraordinary gift. There are many ways to use this ability. If you possess the gift of discernment, you will have the aptitude to minister as:
- a counselor – adept at exposing the missing piece that stands in the way of healing
- arbitrator – brings resolution and peace, between parties, by shedding a light on the truth, in the midst of a dispute
- decision maker – see’s the answer and quickly moves from a decision to an action
- the person in leadership – knows how to lead and discerns pitfalls and strengths in team members
Every Church is blessed with members who possess the gift of discernment. God uses those gifted to discern truth from lies; pure motives from evil intentions; and to help to settle disputes by communicating a clear picture of what the truth looks like.
Beware of Arrogance
If you have been gifted by God with the gift of Discernment beware of the dangers that come when that gift is used apart from God. Arrogance is a sure sign you are not submitted to His Lordship, nor have you recognized that it is God Himself who blessed you and desires to use your gift for His honor and glory.
A warning comes with each gift. A gift from God, not totally submitted to God and the Holy Spirit, can be misused.
Those who have been gifted with discernment may be tempted to feel superior because of their keen insights. They may be tempted to take personal credit rather than to glorify the one who gave them this gift. It is God who enables His child to discern more clearly than most.
Beware of pride, arrogance and the pitfalls of claiming the gift as inherent to you rather than bestowed on you by God.
A spiritual gift is a treasure to be cherished. Use it to honor God and bless the people He brings into your life.