The use of spiritual gifts is often a topic of conversation among Christians, sometimes causing a discussion that is not very helpful. Paul mentions in this verse how we are to approach the subject of spiritual gifts. The first requirement is humility, which is the response of not thinking of ourselves more highly than we should. Humility is necessary for serving in a Christlike way. In God’s kingdom, there is no other way to serve. This is the pattern that the Master modelled for his servants to imitate. So we can understand why a gifted servant should be marked by humility.
A second requirement that Paul mentions is accurate assessment of the gift that God has given. This means that it is possible for each Christian to discover what his or her gifts are and that it is essential for each Christian to discover it. If a Christian does not know what his or her gifting is, the reason is that they have not searched themselves to see what gift they have been given.
How is a Christian to regard himself with sober judgment? Here are some suggestions, all based on what has happened to him or her. First, God sent his Son to pay the penalty of the sins of that person. Second, God worked in providence in the individual’s life since he was conceived, preparing him. Third, God brought the person to know him through the gospel. Fourth, God has planned for that person to fulfil a particular role or roles in the church. Fifth, God will enable that person to fulfil the role earmarked for him. Sixth, the use of that particular gift(s) is one way by which that person reveals his faith – he discovers that he can do it with a measure of comfort whereas he notices that others do not do it with that experience.