The following was adapted from a word of encouragement I shared at our church Moms’ Group recently. This idea of 3 kinds of gifts (gifts of the Father, gifts of the Son, gifts of the Holy Spirit) is not original to me but something I picked up along my Christian walk, though I cannot identify the primary source. If this categorization can be found in a book or sermon that you are aware of, please comment with the source and I will gladly give credit to the author/speaker.
There are 3 kinds of gifts mentioned in Scripture: gifts of the Father, gifts of the Son, gifts of the Holy Spirit. All of these are given to us to build the kingdom of God because that’s what we’re here for. I want to talk about the gifts from the Father, but just to touch on the other two first so we understand the difference.
Gifts of the Son – Ephesians 4:11-12: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” These are functions in the body of Christ.
Gifts of the Holy Spirit – 1 Corinthians 12:7-11: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” This is a fascinating topic and I would love to go into it in more detail in another post. I found this link to be a great resource: https://www.bible-knowledge.com/gifts-of-the-holy-spirit/ (Disclaimer: I did not go through every single page but what I read was biblically sound.)
Gifts of the Father – These are the gifts that are unique to us individually. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given for moments in time, but the gifts of the Father stay with us our whole lives; they’re part of our DNA or they come from unique opportunities that God has given us to develop skills. Some examples of natural gifts are: artistic, athletic, organizational, relational … and each of these can be broken down into specifics. Like snowflakes, they might look similar, but I believe the gifts God gives us are completely unique. You could have 1,000 artistic people in a room and each of their gifts would be different. You could have 1,000 sketch artists in a room and each of their gifts would be different.
Why does God give us unique gifts? He delights in our individuality, but I think there’s also an element of kingdom-building that is central to our design.
Proverbs 18:16: “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.”
I believe He gives us unique gifts for influence. We are called to build the kingdom of God and there are people you can reach through developing your gift, that I can’t reach, and vice versa.
Gifts and skills go together. A person can be born with a natural inclination toward music. That’s the gift. An ungifted person can still learn the piano; it will just be a little harder for them. Through hard work, they can still learn the skill. I can speak French. That’s a skill that I have, and it might open doors for me. So even though I wasn’t born knowing a second language, I was given the opportunity to develop that skill, and that opportunity was a gift from God. So some gifts, we’re born with; other gifts are skills that we develop.
But I would like to just to talk about the ones we’re born with for a minute because as moms, we’re in a unique position to help our kids develop their gifts. Often, it’s easier to see other people’s gifts than our own. The easiest way to look at it is to ask yourself, ‘What comes easy to me but difficult to other people?’ I think the reason it’s hard to see sometimes is that our gifts are so natural to us, we don’t even recognize them. Often, they’ll pop up when we find ourselves getting annoyed with other people for not doing or understanding something that is second nature to us.
I have a friend who is ridiculously relational. I mean that in a good way! She is a great friend to have because she is so natural at identifying areas where she can love on the people in her life. However, I’ve seen how that gift can be a hinderance to her if she doesn’t understand why others aren’t just naturally helping people. When I pointed out that this is an area where she is gifted but others lack, she said she had never seen it that way before. This friend is in her 40’s and like many of us, hadn’t identified what probably anybody else in her life could easily see.
So as moms, we can call things out in our kids that they aren’t necessarily seeing about themselves. We’re so naturally loving toward them, which puts us in that unique position. The thing about a person’s strengths is that they can usually also be their greatest weaknesses. A detail-oriented person can get so caught up in the details, they can’t see the big picture. An artistic person can get so caught up in the process, they forget to clean up their mess. So as moms, we can help our kids develop their gifts for good so that they benefit our children and they benefit the world that they are called to influence.