by Mark Shaw
Have you ever daydreamed about being exceptionally talented at something, like singing or sprinting, but you know you just weren’t given the gift or proper training to get good at it? Chances are your kids imagine being exceptional too, which makes them wonder how they measure up to their peers. Children begin comparing themselves to one another at a very early age. It’s not uncommon for them to be jealous of the best soccer player on their team or the best painter in their class.
The world places a lot of importance on outward things. TikTok, YouTube, and other social media outlets show kids that the way to attention and praise is through finding an outward action and putting it on display for everyone.
But God doesn’t view people the way the world does. While the world cares about physical gifts, which are temporary, the Lord calls Christians to care about a completely different set of gifts that are not as easily apparent. However, these gifts make a monumental impact in the heavenly realm that will last for eternity. These are called SPIRITUAL gifts.
A spiritual gift is an extraordinary power given by the Holy Spirit to all Christians. It’s a supernatural grace which helps believers fulfill their calling as Christians and further the Kingdom of Heaven.
Spiritual gifts are listed in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4. Some of these gifts include evangelism, teaching, serving, giving, encouraging, mercy, words of wisdom and knowledge, and administration.
Every time we read a list of spiritual gifts, it’s somewhat different from another list Paul or Peter mention elsewhere in scripture. This means that their lists are NOT meant to be exhaustive. So, it’s possible that there are other supernatural gifts that the Bible mentions indirectly, like fellowship, hospitality, and composing spiritual music. In fact, some theologians believe there are as many spiritual gifts as there are needs in the church.
When we spot a spiritual gift in a kid, we should bring it to their attention and tell them that it is a gift from God. Then, explain how their gift could be used for the Lord’s Kingdom, to bring others to Christ and build them up.
If a child is having trouble figuring out what their spiritual gift is, it’s important that you teach the child to pray to God, asking Him to make this revelation known. Often, their gift or set of gifts will show them what God’s purpose is for their lives.
It’s also important to let your child know that God will use them in mighty ways when they use their gift for Him. Why? Because their spiritual gift will probably seem inconsequential when they’re comparing it to physical gifts. Tell them that their classmates and friends may care more about these temporary gifts, but God cares about what matters for eternity. When they use their spiritual gift for the Lord, they might not get applause or awards, but they’ll receive the peace and joy that comes from honoring God.
Since every believer is given spiritual gifts when they receive the gift of salvation, they should realize they did nothing to earn their gifts. Just like salvation, all gifts are given to us by grace through faith. So, we shouldn’t boast about our gifts, nor should we feel jealous when someone else has gifts that we don’t possess.
In Romans 12 verses 4 to 6, Paul writes, “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…”
Here, Paul uses the imagery of a body. While some body parts are much larger than others, every part is still important and useful in the body of Christ. The hand shouldn’t boast to the toe about its role, and neither should the hand be jealous of the eye or mouth.
I’m sure you’ve noticed how much your child is already comparing themselves to others. Instead of simply focusing on the physical gifts of your child, why don’t you help them cultivate their spiritual gifts, so God can use them to make an eternal impact for his Kingdom? Discovering these gifts together will deepen your relationship, and also help your child to recognize he or she is enough, just the way God made them.
Stay Connected with CEF
Subscribe to our email lists to receive updates, news, and stories based on your needs and interests.