Through this experience, I've learned a couple of things that I wanted to share that could help you in real life.
#1. Spiritual Gifts Aren't Mystical or Magical
The first is not to expect something mystical, magical, or stereotypically "supernatural" from having spiritual gifts. They aren't necessarily the same.
On the one hand, some spiritual gifts, especially those called out by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:10, do have a "supernaturalness" to them:
To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
However, this doesn't define what all gifts should be, of for that matter, the primary purpose.
This is why my teaching focuses on the gifts in Ephesians 4:11-13, which appear to have less "mystical" elements, but are probably more foundational to the life of the church:
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, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
Look at how seemingly "non-miraculous" the goals are: equipping, edifying, unity, knowledge.
Removing the constraint and expectation that to have an experience gifts means seeing and feeling the mystical will actually expand their presence in regular life!
2. Spiritual Gifts Govern Everyday Relationships
This is something that is often overlooked. As a result, you may not be realizing what your gifts are or how to lean into them further.
Everyday relationships are where your gifts show up -- both the good and the bad.
Whether you engage with new people with a missional zeal like an apostle, or have an enthusiastic, inviting approach as the evangelist -- you are exercising your gifts.
Conversely, you could be too brusque or even judgmental as a prophet, or too co-dependent as a shepherd.
Your every day relationships is both how your discovery and how you exercise your spiritual gifts.
3. Practical Impacts
The goal according to Ephesians is for building of the church. Some people believe that only means helping out the local church and its members.
But the church is a broader body of those who follow Christ as its head.
That could include the unbelievers whom God has placed in your life, as well.
How you excel at work, how you raise your children, how you think about your finances, how you relate to your spouse, how you lead or gain influence in society -- all of these practical impacts draw on your spiritual gifts.
The spiritual world is sometimes put at odds with the secular one. But this is missing the actual conflict.
The conflict is between our spiritual selves and our fleshly selves as written in Galatians 5:17:
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
Our behaviors should be in the Spirit, and not of the flesh. But our impact could certainly be on the world, drawing upon that which is of the Spirit.
What is of the Spirit?
Spiritual gifts certainly are one of those elements.
Does it not make sense, then, if we are living more in the Spirit, we live more out of our spiritual gifts?
Because we live in the world, then, means those gifts encounter the real world.
So let me know in the comments below what you think of this and how do you see spiritual gifts showing up in your practical life?