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How Do You Know if You Have the Gift of Discernment?

Susan loves the Lord. She seeks to walk close to him by studying the word of God. His word holds all the answers to life's questions.

Gift of Discernment

Gifts of the Spirit

Gifts of the Spirit

Spritual Gift of Discernment

I don’t know about you, but I am intrigued by the spiritual gifts 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. It is my desire to help you identify if you possess this gift and, if you do, to use it and to glorify the God who entrusted you with it.

I will also list 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 it is with spiritual gifts. Each spiritual gift ministers to the body of Christ in specific ways.

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 grants different gifts to each of His children to minister to 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 which God has given to every believer.

As you read the list above, quoted from scripture, did you recognize one or more unique characteristic you possess?

It is important for every believer to know what their spiritual gift is. 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 to minister to the body of Christ and win others to Him.

To demonstrate the manifestation of a spiritual gift, I will illustrate through story and application with four of the gifts of the spirit.

  • 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 see compassion rising within her. Betsy feels your pain and may even cry with you. People feel understood when they share their heart with Betsy; they feel loved too by her 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's easy for her to pick up and carry other people's 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 desire for her to help. 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 so it is easy to grasp. He also has an uncanny ability to tell compelling stories making application easy. 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. Jody is likely to speak up in any given situation. Jody voices her insights, particularly when discerning injustice. Jody doesn't necessarily seek to be a public figure but her wise counsel draws people to her. If Jody addresses your issue and gives you counsel, she will also follow up to make sure her guidance is applied.

Did you see yourself in any of these examples? You can be assured 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. The gifts listed above help to illustrate the purpose and manifestations of the various gifts of the spirit.

His Word is Truth

His Word is Truth

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.
  • 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 God has gifted you with discernment, beware of the dangers that come when used apart from God. Arrogance is a sure sign you are not submitted to His Lordship. Arrogance reveals your lack of understanding that this gift is not inherent but it is God Himself who placed this gift in you. Your gift was given to bless others and glorify Him.

A warning comes with each gift. A gift, not totally submitted to God will be misused. Those gifted with discernment may be tempted to feel superior because of their keen insights. They may be tempted to take personal credit rather than glorify the one who gave them this gift.

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.

New Poll

Questions & Answers

Question: I am a believer, and I have not yet found my gift in the body of Christ. How do I search for it?

Answer: It is important to know the gift(s) God entrusted to you. Here is an online test that will help you identify your gift(s).

Question: If you see something play out in your mind and you shake it off and do nothing about it, and later it happens, does it mean you have the gift of discernment?

Answer: Are you a believer in God? Do you study his word to grow as a believer? This article is based on what God says about discernment. If you have answered yes to the above, I would suggest you ask God to take this ability away if it is not from him. My daughter used to have the same sense of 'knowing.' This is the advice I gave her and God did take it away.

Question: I am a true believer in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I feel pretty sure I have the gift of discernment. How can I research this more? Any advice?

Answer: It is important to know the gift(s) God entrusted to you. I have found an online test you can take to help you identify your gift(s):

Have fun learning and praying about how to use the gift(s) God blessed you with.

Question: How do I know if I have the gifts of wisdom and knowledge?

Answer: This article is on the gift of discernment. How do you know? My resource is God's word. He is the one that gives gifts to his children. It is through God's word that we learn about the gifts he bestows. References are listed above in the article under other spiritual gifts.

Question: I know that God has given me the gift of discernment, but how can I explain this to an unbeliever?

Answer: You don't need to explain your gift to anyone. Just use it as God leads you to. God bless you!

Question: I have the gift of discernment. How can I use my gift daily? Who can I use it on? I also possess the gift of prophecy. What do I do with that?

Answer: If God has gifted you with discernment, he will show you how to use your gift, same with prophecy. Stay close to him, study his word, ray often and be submitted to him in all your ways.

Question: Have you ever heard of someone receiving a spiritual call? Like a phone call but in the spirit. Usually, I can hear it regarding suicide or abortion or someone cries, help me, and begins to tell their situation.

Answer: No, I have never experienced or heard of anything like this. Do you know the Lord Jesus? If you do, pray and ask God the Father to show you what to do with this information.

Question: I have the gift of discernment. And it scares me because I don't know how to use it. At times I think I'm going crazy. Please enlighten me on when and how to use my gift?

Answer: I am assuming that you are a child of God and understand that God bestows gifts of the spirit to each of his children. Knowing that God has gifted you with discernment is knowing that He will use you. It would take too long to address your question in a question and answer fashion. So, I am giving you a link from a trusted source, so you can discover how to use the gift God blessed you with. This article has three parts. You will find the link to the next part at the bottom of each page. Remember, "God has not given you the spirit of fear." And "Every good and perfect gift comes from above." Ask God reveal Himself and His will for using your gift as you read this article by Tim Challies.

Question: I normally see things in my imagination, especially when I look at the Mary statue. Does this mean I have the gift of discernment?

Answer: It does not mean it indicates the gift of discernment. I would say your imagination is active, but beyond that, I have no clue.

Question: What if you feel you have more than one spiritual gift?

Answer: Many people have more than one spiritual gift. It means we have more accountability to use those gifts to minister to others.

Question: Recently, there was a bad wreck on my block all three people were dead on impact. I went out to see if I could help and something came over me so strong I could almost smell death and that bothered me, Is this just part of discernment?

Answer: I don't believe there is any connection between what you felt and the gift of discernment; not sure why you had that sensation.

Question: Why does the gift of discernment cause people not to like you?

Answer: It depends on how you utilize that gift. If you give unsolicited advice to people with your gift, it will not be well received. Each gift must be bathed in love and compassion to be accepted by the receiver. Since you have the gift of discernment, discern when it is time to speak, time to listen and time to pray. Ask God; He's the giver of every good and perfect gift.

Question: What should I do to have a power of discernment?

Answer: You cannot do anything to receive this gift. God gives all those who have accepted His gift of salvation, a spiritual gift. This is one of the many gifts God gives to His children.

Question: How do you know if you have the gift of knowledge?

Answer: To answer this, I am sending you a link with a clear explanation of the gift of knowledge. God Bless you!:

© 2009 Susan Ream

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