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I have been asking myself what difference does it really make, finally, to know what our spiritual gifts are.  If I have become convinced (however that might have come about) that the Holy Spirit has given me the gift of miracles (which by the way I don’t think I have) how does that change what I do in my daily living, or monthly living, or yearly living?  Do I go out looking for places to do miracles?  Do I avoid situations where I can’t exercise the gift of miracles?

Or, does propriety mean that I permit the fruit of the Spirit (as seen in Galatians 5) to lead me to use whatever gift I have in accord with Godly morality?  If I have love, mercy, patience, etc., I simply allow those virtues to guide my decision making.  If the decision leads me to exercise a gift of the Spirit, so be it.  If the decision leads me to act without a gift of the Spirit being involved, so be it.  Does it make sense to avoid acting in a loving manner because such action would not “permit” me to use a particular gift that I think I have?  The answer should be obvious!  The decision as to when and how a gift of the Spirit is to be used or not used is determined by the fruit of the Spirit of God.

The fact is that the gifts can be abused, neglected, or appropriately used.  Such abuse, neglect, or use will happen due to the fruit of the Spirit being or not being in active place.  It is the fruit of the Spirit that matters more than the gifts.  This comes out at the end of 1 Corinthians 13, where faith, hope, and love are emphasized, with love being the greatest of the three.  Even these three virtues are prioritized in some fashion.

There simply is a scale of what is more or less important, or more or less basic, in the Christian life.  The fruit of the Spirit supersedes the gifts of the Spirit.  That may make life interesting and/or frustrating, but such is life with the Spirit of God.