Seven people are sitting around a table having lunch. These seven people happen to be motivated by different gifts in their lives. One is inclined toward serving, another toward giving, etc.
Someone bumps a glass with their elbow, causing it to fall from the edge of the table, shattering the glass.
The seven each react in a different way:
- The Perceiver (prophetic person) says: “I knew that was going to happen.”
- The Server (ministry) says: “Here, I’ll clean it up.”
- The Teacher says: “Now, there’s a lesson we can learn from that. If you had placed the glass in a better spot…”
- The Exhorter (encourager) turns to the person who dropped the glass and says:”Don’t feel bad- it probably won’t happen again.”
- “And don’t worry,” the Giver adds, “I’ll pay for the glass!”
- Meanwhile the Leader quickly takes charge of the situation by asking the waiter for a broom and dustpan and another glass of water.
- And the Mercy person says, “Oh, that’s too bad. I hope you are all right now.”
As this simple illustration shows, each person’s unique motivational gifts will cause that person to:
a) see a situation from a different viewpoint than others who have different motivational gifts, and
b) respond to that situation in a different way than others who have other
The important thing to remember is this: Though each gift is unique, all the gifts are designed to function together. They are designed by God to be mutually interdependent. In other words, they need each other to accomplish all that Christ desires to do in His Body -the Church!
Some Important Principles About Motivational Gifts
As we have studied this gift section together, it has probably become obvious to you that the Person of Jesus Christ in His life and ministry is the perfect embodiment of each of these gifts (see Colossians 1:19 & 2:9; Hebrews 1:3).
It is hoped that it is equally obvious from Scripture that each believer has at least one gift in which he or she is motivated (l Pet 4:10); and that the purpose of these gifts is that each believer might benefit the Body of Christ (see Ephesians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 12:7;14:12).
In considering the motivational gifts, it is important to remember that God builds those gifts into us. But, as with all the gifts, the Lordship of Christ in our lives is necessary for them to function correctly.
We must not neglect these gifts (1 Tim 4:14), but rather “stir them up” (2 Tim 1:6) for God to use them for His glory.
Because the motivational gifts are equal in stature and value, we must always make room for other perspectives seen through the various gifts. We can be a balanced and healthy Body only when each of us does our part fully. Then we must fully allow every other part to contribute their portion, for the good of all.