Some people navigate their entire lives knowing exactly what their spiritual gifts are and how to use them to exemplify their faith. Others don't find out what their spiritual gifts are and how to use them until much later in life.
Understanding what spiritual gifts are, how to find them and how to use them ensures that you will exemplify the Lord through the talents He has given to you.
Spiritual gifts are talents and skills bestowed upon those called to use them to serve the glory of God. According to 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."
In other words, everyone has their own spiritual gifts, but no one gift is more steeped in the Holy Spirit than another. In 1 Peter 4:10-11, the Bible teaches that those who receive spiritual gifts should use them to serve God and one another. These two verses also note that followers should use their gifts to exemplify their chosen status as "good stewards of God's varied grace."
It is important to remember that spiritual gifts are meant to serve God's purpose, not your own. Therefore, the goal of finding and using a spiritual gift is to exalt Him.
The best way to find your spiritual gift is through service. For instance, perhaps you can offer to volunteer in your church or community doing something you enjoy or engaging in a task in which you are highly proficient. Perhaps doing it in service of the Lord may heighten your ability or cause you to focus more intently.
In other words, in exemplifying the Lord in what you do, you may happen upon your spiritual gift. Sometimes, it helps to ask your family and friends what special talents or skills they see in you. Sometimes, they can see things in you that you may not have realized about yourself just yet.
Some churches offer classes to help you realize what your spiritual gift might be. If you need a more structured approach to finding your spiritual gift, this might be an ideal avenue for you to pursue.
While some people take steps to determine their spiritual gift early in life, others may not realize what it is until later. This is a deeply personal journal that everyone embarks upon for themselves. Finding your spiritual gift later in life does not mean that you've missed out on using it.
Rather, God intended you to find it exactly when you did. This is the definition of faith in that you are called to trust in God's plan for your life. This might include finding your spiritual gift later in life or perhaps even shifting your gift from one thing to another as you age and gain life experience.
There are many ways to use your spiritual gift depending on what it is. Some of the simplest talents might not seem steeped in faith, but if God bestowed them upon you, this is exactly their purpose. Seniors sometimes have more time and life experience to use their gifts freely and abundantly, especially if they've decided to make a move into an assisted living community.
• Organization/administrative skills: The church is a working body with many moving parts to help serve the Lord, His followers and the community at large. Seniors with administrative gifts are uniquely qualified to help the church with the planning and organization of its mission. That might include helping a local church or just organizing a Bible study for residents in your own assisted living community.
• Leadership: Those gifted with the qualities to lead may help to lead the Lord's flock. Seniors with leadership skills may also help to shepherd others to Christ.
• Listening: Listening is a pertinent spiritual gift as it allows you to serve as a guide and a comfort to others. Sometimes, people have to work through challenges to still themselves enough to hear God. They may require counsel during this time, and seniors with the gift of listening can be a great aid in this process.
• Communication: This spiritual gift can guide you to talk with others about the Word of God, sharing what you know and fielding questions from others about the Word and their experiences. Seniors with communication talents understand how to effectively engage with people from all walks of life, which may ultimately help to bring more people to Christ.
• Creativity: Those with creative spiritual gifts, in areas of art, music or performance, can serve the Lord by teaching others how to worship and fellowship in this way. Seniors with these gifts can sometimes reach the hearts of nonbelievers easier than traditional evangelism can.