A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. (1 Corinthians 12:7, N.L.T.)
When a person is born, he or she comes wired with certain talents, skills, and natural abilities. Obviously, these must be recognized and honed as the individual grows, but the point is that these things are inside the person even in infancy. They simply need to be put to use.
Along the same lines, the New Testament teaches that when a person believes in Christ as Savior, God the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside that person’s body (Romans 8:9-11). Thus, the person is born again (John 3:1-21). And one of the things the Spirit does is impart to the person at least one “spiritual gift” (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; Ephesians 4:7-11).
What is a spiritual gift? It is a talent, skill, or ability that the person did not have before becoming a Christian. As with natural talents, skills, and abilities, it might take the new Christian (who is called a babe in Christ: 1 Corinthians 3:1; 1 Peter 2:2) a while to identify the spiritual gift and hone it, but the gift is present from the moment of salvation. Some Christians are given more than one spiritual gift, but every Christian is given at least one (1 Corinthians 12:7). The good news is that one is plenty by which to serve Christ in great and mighty ways.
A young man who lost his left arm in an automobile accident wanted to learn judo. His family, delighted that he wasn’t letting his disability keep him down, hired an old Japanese master to teach him judo’s throws. After three months had passed, the master had taught the young man only one throw, but that specific throw had been perfected. Surprisingly, the master felt that it was time for the young man to enter his first competition. Even more surprisingly, the young man actually won the event, defeating the defending champion in the finals.
After the finals, the young man asked the master the question that had been on his mind: “Why did you teach me only one throw?” The master replied, “There are two reasons. First, by mastering that one throw you have mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. Second, the only known defense for that throw is for your opponent to grab your left arm.”
You see, that young man knew only one throw, but one was enough. Likewise, Christian, God the Holy Spirit may have imparted to you only one spiritual gift, but that one is enough. So use it, use it, use it, over and over and over again in service to Christ. Why? Because Satan won’t have a defense for it and it will surely help others.