God is a giver of gifts. He delights in lavishing gifts on us in abundance, but do we know what these gifts are that God gives us and are we using them as we should?
When we are baptised, we receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Isaiah 11 and these are strengthened in Confirmation. These gifts are given to help us grow in friendship with Jesus and to live a moral life. They enable us to make right decisions and give us the strength to be courageous witnesses of the Gospel. We need to use these gifts regularly to grow strong in our faith, but we first need to know what they are.
Wisdom: This gift helps us to know the difference between good and evil, right and wrong. It helps us make the right choices when faced with decisions. It helps us see the world from God’s perspective. As we grow in wisdom, our behaviour and actions become more mature. Wisdom helps us grow in holiness.
Understanding: This gift helps us to recognise the emptiness and dryness of many of the ideas in contemporary society. It helps us to see the lasting truths of the Gospel and to understand how God is working his purpose out in our own lives.
Counsel: This is sometimes called ‘Right Judgement.’ This gift helps us to see what is right and wrong in the events happening around us and it gives us the wisdom to act according to our conscience.
Fortitude: This gift gives us the strength of will and the courage to do what we know to be the will of God for us, even when this may cause us to experience loss or suffering.
Knowledge: This gift helps us to see events and things happening in our life from a supernatural point of view. It helps us understand and know what God is asking of us.
Piety: This gift brings loyalty to God. It causes us to be obedient to Him; wanting to do only what God wants us to do. It makes us want to love God as he deserves to be loved and worship Him above everything else in our lives.
Fear of the Lord: This gift helps us to reverence and understand God’s greatness and our dependence on him. It fills us with enormous respect for God and gives us a dread of offending him, or being separated from him in any way. It is not a fear in the sense of being frightened, but a fear of losing our relationship with God. All these gifts are essential in helping us to become mature and holy Christians. They help us to become the best person we can possibly be, the person God created us to be. God gives them to us because he knows we need them. So, use them regularly as you go about your daily life and you will grow stronger spiritually, in your friendship with Christ and in your service to those around you.
“Let your good spirit guide me in ways that are level and smooth.” Psalm 143:10