Got thinking yesterday about my personality and how it interacts with the gifts God has graced me with. I’m one of those people who LOVES to understand things. I’ll dig and dig and dig to understand something that doesn’t quite make sense. By contrast, I have almost no interest in making decisions or having people look to me to guide them. I was a manager for a couple months, it was a complete disaster. God has gifted me with teaching, but not leadership. To teach, I need to first be able to learn, make connections between different texts, research, etc. Then I have to be able to clearly communicate what I’ve found. God guides me through this process and empowers me, making the results effective (when I do the research, etc.).
Contrast this with others I know, who love interacting with people, and step in to help out others before they can even be asked. This sort of person is gregarious, helpful, knows what needs to be done and isn’t satisfied if it isn’t being addressed. Gifts of service, compassion, etc are likely to be found in such a person.
I think it’s important to realize that God can call you to practice any gift, regardless of what your personality is. A shy person can be called to leadership (see Moses). A teacher may not be a great thinker. The gifts the local body needs will always be provided, regardless of the personality mix that is present.
Similarly, your profession does not necessarily indicate your gifting. A professional teacher may not be gifted with teaching. Perhaps that person has leadership, pastor, or other giftings. Your gifting is what is practiced within the context of the church, not what is practiced in the context of the world. Collecting trash for a living doesn’t mean you have the gift of service unless you’re willing to take out the trash at church as well.