It is very popular today, to promote the idea that you should go to God in prayer in order to be discovering your spiritual gifts.
Historically it stems from the non Charismatic/Pentecostal churches trying to come to terms with the idea of spiritual gifts.
The problem goes something like this: there is this theology about speaking in tongues, prophesy and healing. It is gaining power from it’s popularity rather than it’s soundness. There was a desperate need to understand it and even get on board.
But like so many things born out of desperation, the focus turned on to the individual and what “I” can get out of it.
Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts is Not Spiritual Growth
Seeking out or discovering your own spiritual gifts runs counter to the building of a strong church. It is an act of selfishness. It is not about building the body of Christ.
Gifts are manifest not sort 1 Corinthians 12:7
I am not suggesting that we should live in ignorance about our gifts. However we should all submit ourselves to each other, to our Christian congregation and have the body identify our gifts.
I realize that such a thing is very confronting and to some degree frightening but if we demand it of our leaders why would we not require it of all the members of our own congregations. Why would we not want to love each other enough to want to do this for each other.
If we cared enough about each other to identify each others gifts how powerful is that? How strong would a congregation be if it was more concerned about the other person and building them up, than ourselves.
The church is a body (1. Corinthians 12). Yet we constantly concern ourselves with the individual. Passages like this become about our own selfish, individual pursuits rather than about building the body and incorporation. All we need do is tell people to seek out your own gifts and it becomes about your own gain not the gain of the body.
Even the discerning of the body (the breaking of the bread and the wine – communion or Eucharist) is distorted. Examining yourself is about defining your relationship with others not just about us as the individual (1 Corinthians11).