Our Basic Motivations
There are seven motivational gifts listed in Romans 12:3-8. Very few of us are characterized by only one of these gifts. Most often, each of us has a combination of several of them. However, there will usually be one of these gifts that is more pronounced.
When we closely examine the Greek text itself, we see that the list of gifts in Romans 12 has to do with how each of us is made. These gifts portray, or characterize, our basic motivations – that is, how we perceive, understand, and approach life and ministry.
These basic characteristics are built into our personalities, placed there by our Creator.
But they are more than just personality traits. They are gifts that our Heavenly Father has sovereignly given to each of us.
Given For God’s Service
We can attempt to resist these God-given motivations within us; or we can cooperate by putting them to service for the One Who gave them to us.
It is also possible for us to grow and strengthen these gifts. This will help us to fulfill all of God’s purposes for our lives. We can do this by continually surrendering to the Lordship of Christ in our lives and submitting our whole being to His use. We should walk in faith and obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading, allowing our Lord to stretch us, discipline us, and mature us.
In this way, we can discover all that God has made us to be today; and, with His help, we can become all that He intends for us to become into the future.
The Seven Gifts
Let us look together at Romans 12:3-8:
v.3: “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
vs.4-5: “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
v.6a: “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them:
vs.6b·8: “if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. “
Before we look at the specifics of the gifts listed in verses 6b-8, there are some crucial principles to understand. These principles are presented to us in verses 3-6a.
Understanding these principles will help us clearly grasp the importance of this list of gifts. We will also more thoroughly appreciate and understand each person’s uniqueness –yet interdependency-within the Body of Christ.
1. Your “Measure of Faith” (v.3).
A. A Sober Mind
The Spirit of God, through Paul,begins this section by exhorting us to “right thinking” concerning ourselves.