Here I go again trying to figure myself out. It seems to be one of my favorite pastimes! I stumbled across an interesting spiritual gifts survey that really nailed it for me. A few months ago I took a similar survey on another site and ended up feeling useless and discouraged. It made me feel that if I wasn't a "teacher" or "evangelist" type of person then I didn't amount to much in the church body. I feel that way often enough on my own, I didn't need someone else telling me that too! I often struggle with feeling connected in the church, knowing where I fit, knowing what in the heck am I good for anyway? I'm sure this is partially due to self-esteem issues from my past but I think it is also due to not having an obviously useful gift. Everyone recognizes those who have great pearls of wisdom to bestow on all they meet or those who are super-organized and practical, and those with a passion to teach and share the gospel. I am not a great giver of advice, I fear public speaking and confrontation, I don't teach well, and I worry too much about offending others and what people think of me.
Instead of causing me to beat myself up further about all the things I am not good at, this survey actually caused me to recognize and value the characteristics I do have. No small feat, I assure you...
I particularly like the parts that explain what pitfalls to watch out for and the practical ways in which I could use my gift.
The results of your Spiritual Gifts Inventory indicate that your number one dominant gift is MERCY SHOWING! The Greek word "ellco" means to feel sympathy with or for others. As a mercy-shower you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by identifying with and comforting those who are in distress. You understand and comfort your fellow Christian. You enter into the grief or happiness of others and have the ability to show empathy which is to feel WITH others, not just for others.
As a mercy-shower you are willing to deal with and minister to people who have needs that most people feel very uncomfortable working with. You seem to say the right thing at the right time. Your personality is likely one of soft-spoken love. It hurts you to scold someone; you are very non-condemning. People love you because of all the love you give them. You find it easy to express yourself and are outgoing with a low-key, inoffensive personality. You are easy to talk to, responsive to people, a good listener, peaceable, and agreeable. You tend to make decisions based on feelings more than fact and like to think about things for a while before making a decision.
In your burden to comfort others, your heart goes out to the poor, the aged, the ill, the underprivileged, and so on. You tend to attract people who are hurting or rejoicing because you identify with them. Be careful not to let others use you. Try not to resent others who are not as understanding as you. Refrain from becoming a gossiper when you are around other mercy-showers. Do not let your circumstances control you. Because of your supernatural ability to show mercy, others accuse you of taking up for people, being a softy and a compromiser. They may think you are too emotional.
Mercy-showers make excellent counselors. However, left untrained, you may destroy yourself by your tendency to take people's problems home with you. Your empathy can become detrimental without personal training on how to deal with it.
Beware of Satan's attack on your gift. He can cause pride because of your ability to relate to others. He may influence you to disregard rules and authority. You may experience a lack of discipline because of strong feeling for those who hurt due to disobedience and sin. Don't fall into Satan's trap of complaining and griping.
HOW CAN YOU USE YOUR GIFT? Your gift is used best in times of sorrow and in times of great joy. It fits well with another gift of service such as deacon, youth worker or hospital visitation. With a counseling course, you could become a good counselor. You may serve as a hospital, nursing home, or shut-in worker; a funeral coordinator and provider of sympathy and support; or a poverty center worker. You would do well as an usher or greeter and welcome center worker or hospitality person. You may want to work in a telephone ministry. You would make people feel welcome on a newcomer visitation team. Other appropriate ministry areas include missions, committee member, furlough assistance, and correspondence helper. You would work well with the elderly and with people who have mental and physical disabilities, in nursing, and with special ministries to migrants, released offenders or abused children and women.