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by Sandi Austin

I found myself wandering through the United Methodist Church website and came across an online assessment that interprets your answers in relation to your spiritual gifts.

According to the assessment introduction, “Every child of God is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, specially gifted to play a unique and valued role in the body of Christ. No one is without gift or purpose.”

It goes on to say, “Spiritual gifts are not our talents or skills. They are the grace of God at work within us, empowering us to match our deep passions with the world’s deep need. The gifts are given to individuals, but they are given to build and strengthen community and to meet the needs of those around us.”

As I was reading this, I learned that we all are gifted in one way or another, and have been given a purpose in serving God, our neighbors, and the world. I decided to take the assessment and learn what the results meant for me.

As my results were revealed, I found that Exhortation was my highest score. The gift of exhortation is manifest in people who offer encouragement, wise counsel, unflagging support, and empowerment. Those who exhort stay focused on helping people maximize their own potential and live from their own gifts and skills. Exhorters help people feel good about themselves, build confidence, and not grow discouraged. Often, those with the gift of exhortation make others feel good just by being present.

Gosh, I hope I’m living up to that!

My lowest score was Knowledge which, I must admit, surprised me. The gift of knowledge allows people to automatically convert facts, data, and information into useful and important knowledge. People possessing this gift can learn in a variety of ways, retain what they learn, and understand how learning can be applied in meaningful and productive ways. Those gifted with knowledge have a voracious and insatiable desire to learn more, and they seek multiple avenues for deepening their understanding of God’s world, God’s will, and God’s people.

I guess I’ve got some learning to do!

Do you want to find out how YOU are gifted? Go to http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/spiritual-gifts and take the test. Your 21-category results will be listed from highest to lowest, each one with its own resource information to help you develop and use that gift.b

Give it a try!

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