Goal: To discover your Spiritual Gifts and how your gift(s) assist you in your effort to live and love your neighbor(s) effectually.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” – Ephesians 2:10 (TNIV)

The good thing about learning to love yourself and learning to love your neighbor as yourself is you don’t have to do this alone!  More than likely, you possess specific and dynamic spiritual gifts (given to you by your Higher Power) to assist you in your effort to feel and live purposefully, confidently, empowered and competently in your goal-directed activity. 

Learning what your specific spiritual gifts are is affirming, effective and transformative. Affirming because discovering what your spiritual gifts are provides valuable answers to several core questions of life, some of which are:

  1. Who am I?  (Which provides insight regarding values/virtues that define your personal identity).
  2. What’s my purpose?  (Which provides insight regarding your existence and reason for being).
  3. How shall I live?  (Which provides insight regarding intentional and productive living).
  4. What’s my legacy?  (Which provides insight regarding the “meaningful impact” of a focused life).

Your spiritual gifts are effective because they help you to purposefully and powerfully accomplish activities and tasks which flow from the above-mentioned questions. Finally, your spiritual gifts are transformative because when you demonstrate your gifts in the presence of, and in service to others, the outcomes tend to facilitate change, healing and growth in your life and in the lives of the recipients.

My top three spiritual gifts are Knowledge, Wisdom and Teaching, and thankfully, the spiritual gifts test nailed it!  

The gift of Knowledge means my God has helped me to acquire an understanding of our lives and things in this world, and this gift helps me to communicate truths effectively and appropriately to facilitate greater understanding in the life of the recipient(s).

The gift of Wisdom refers to me having an intimate understanding of God’s Word, and when shared speaks to the life of an individual or to a specific situation with great understanding, with the goal of guiding them toward a life that reflects purposeful, inspired and intentional living.

Finally, the gift of Teaching validates my love to study the Word of God with the expressed purpose of “teaching, instructing, explaining, and expounding” (with gratitude and great joy!) as others learn and apply the truth of God’s Word to their lives. 

In closing, I encourage you to discover and with the help of God, develop, mature, and demonstrate your spiritual gifts (i.e., Discernment, Giving, Mercy, Leadership, Faith, Serving, Administration to name a few other gifts) for the benefit and in service to others. Your demonstration of your unique spiritual gifts could inspire those who need inspiration, mercifully unburden those who are physically and emotionally overwhelmed, and give hope to those who are hopeless, and in need a loving, reasonable and godly gesture uniquely delivered by you!

Suggested Activity: Take the free Spiritual Gifts Test (www.spiritualgiftstest.com) to determine what are your spiritual gifts.  As suggested, discuss the results with other “stakeholders” in your life (spouses, family members, Pastor, Priest, Rabbi or Spiritual Guide) for additional insights and suggestions regarding how you could best utilize your gifts for your personal benefit but ultimately to “love the neighbors” in your life.

Skill to developThe ability to become proficient with the use of your gifts to build others up.

Next: “Your Healthy Adult Mode” (Part 1 of 3) or return to the Table of Contents.

Thanks for reading this excerpt from Cultivating Love: Wisdom for Life. As time permits, please visit the other blogs written by Dr. Ken McGill: Daily Bread for Life and “3–2–5–4–24″ for additional information that could be helpful.

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About Dr Ken McGill

Dr. Ken McGill is an ordained minister and has been involved in counseling for more than 25 years. Dr. McGill holds a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Pacific Christian College (now Hope International University), a Certificate of Completion in the Alcohol and Drug Studies/Counseling Program from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Dr. McGill received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Family Psychology from Azusa Pacific University in May, 2003. Dr. McGill's dissertation focused on the development of an integrated treatment program for the sexually addicted homeless population, and Ken was "personally mentored" by dissertation committee member Dr. Patrick Carnes, a pioneer in the field of sex addiction work. Dr. McGill authored a chapter in the text The Clinical Management of Sex Addiction, with his chapter addressing the homeless and sex addiction. Dr. McGill is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the States of Texas and California and Mississippi, and is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, through the International Institute for Trauma and Addictive Professionals (IITAP). Dr. McGill had a private practice in Glendora, CA (Aspen Counseling Center), Inglewood, CA (Faithful Central Bible Church), and Hattiesburg, MS (River of Life Church), specializing in the following areas with individuals, couples, families, groups and psychoeducational training: addictions and recovery, pre-marital, marital and family counseling, issues related to traumatization and abuse, as well as depression, grief, loss, anger management and men's and women's issues. Dr. McGill also provided psychotherapeutic treatment with Student-Athletes on the University of Southern Mississippi Football and Men's Basketball teams. Dr. McGill served as the Director of the Gentle Path Program, which is a seven-week residential program, for people who are challenged with sexual addiction, sexual anorexia, and relationship issues. Dr. McGill also supervised Doctoral students in the Southern Mississippi Psychology Internship Consortium with the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. McGill was inducted into the Azusa Pacific University Academic Hall of Honor, School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, in October, 2010. Dr. McGill currently works as a Private practice clinician with an office in Plano, Texas, providing treatment with people who are challenged in the areas mentioned above.


Daily Bread for Addressing Compulsion