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.

Paul reminds the church at Rome that he is an apostle (“For I say, through the grace given to me…”) and, therefore, speaks with authority and Divine appointment. He then goes on to instruct the believers not to think more “highly” of themselves than they ought to.

This is more than just a warning against the subtlety of pride and selfishness. Yes, it is that; but when linked with the rest of verse 3, it takes on even more meaning.

First, we are told to “think sober­ly“.This refers back to the preceding verse, 12:2: “And do not be con­formed to this world , but be trans­formed by the renewing of your minds.” To think soberly (v.3) with a renewed mind (v.2) is to think with a clear mind.

The Greek word used in verse 3 is sophroneo. This word means “to be of sound {whole, unimpaired) mind or judgment, sane, self-controlled, serious, moderate, restrained, disciplined, able to reason.” It comes from two Greek root-words:  sozo  (“to save” or “saved”) and phren (“the mind”).

The Holy Spirit is teaching us here that a redeemed believer is NOT to think  1) with self-conceit, that he is better than others in the Body of Christ; or 2) with self­- abasement, that he is less valuable than others in the Body of Christ. BOTH ways of thinking are equally unsound and unscriptural.

Rather, we are to think with a transformed mind characterized by true humility and gratitude to God.

B. Why Humility And Gratitude?

Humility is best defined as being exactly what you are; no more and no less. We should be grateful, because both the gifts and their proper and effective operation come from God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Truly, we are only earthly vessels- yet vessels of importance because of the priceless treasure we contain! (2 Cor 4:7).

We could never acquire or obtain God’s gifts by our own efforts or cleverness. And, no mat­ter how much we desire them, we cannot have gifts other than those God has given to us. By walking in humility and gratitude, we become more balanced and more useable in the Master’s hands.

The basis for our transformed, sober, dear thinking is that each of us has been given a “measure of faith”.

Avoid Self-Deception

Competitive behavior among believers, especially leaders, usually comes from a lack of sober thinking. When we allow pride – or insecurity -to guide our thinking, we become susceptible  to deception and sin.

Any person can be tempted to covet another person’s gift, or to be insecure about his or her own gifts. Only constant vigilance over our hearts (Prov 4:23) -and regular times of examination and cleansing by the Holy Spirit -can keep us from falling victim to the self­- deception of pride on the one hand, or false modesty on the other.

 C. What Is A “Measure Of Faith”?

Let us define “measure of faith” -what it is and what it is not:

  1. This “measure of faith” is NOT “saving faith” (the kind of faith that is concerned with our salvation). No person can be “more saved” than You are either saved, or you are not. The presence of a gift, or its use, does NOT mean  that one person  has more saving faith than another.
  2. This “measure of faith” is NOT an amount of faith, Faith is not divided into pieces by God and handed out in larger or smaller amounts to different people. It is also NOT about trying to become more “spiritual” so you can have a larger amount of faith, or more gifts.
  3. This “measure of faith” IS that type of faith that is best suited for the operation of each particular gift in its area of In other words, someone who has the gift of giving needs the type of faith that will release him to give liberally, without holding back. A teacher needs the type of faith that will enable him to boldly stand before others and rightly present the truth.Father God has made each of us in a certain way, with certain gifts. He has also given us the type of faith needed to best use our gifts.

    D. Thinking Soberly

With that in mind, the exhortation regarding sober thinking takes on even greater impact.

If we think we possess gifts that we have not been given (or strive to get them!), we have an inflated notion of ourselves. We sin by thinking too highly (or just plain wrongly) about ourselves and what God has given to us.

But if we underestimate what God has placed in our lives, we are enslaved to a false humility that seems to be very spiritual but is not spiritual at all (Col 2:23). We will doubt or deny the gifts God has given us, and never rise up and fully use those gifts. Thus, all that God could accomplish through our lives will go unful­filled, and the Body of Christ will never receive all that we could give.

    E. Stay Within Your Gift

There is another important lesson to learn about sober thinking: When you have been given a certain Motivational Gift, be content to use that gift instead of longing for other gifts. It is a wise person who stays within the sphere of service that God has equipped him for, and avoids doing something for which he is not equipped.

The quickest way to become frustrated and hopeless in ministry is to try and function in an area of service where you are not equipped to function!

    F. Uniqueness of the Motivational Gifts

It is important to remember the uniqueness of the Motivational Gifts. They are not like the Manifestation Gifts of I Corinthians 12, where any believer can function in any of those gifts as the Holy Spirit leads. Nor are these gifts like the Ministry Gifts of Ephesians 4:11.

The Motivational Gifts (which will be discussed in detail further in this article) involve who God has made us to be. These gifts will influence how we perceive life, and how we respond to other people’s needs in a given ministry situation.

Each of us, with our unique motivational gifts, will respond to a situation somewhat differently than others who have other gifts. The important thing is that each gift is just as important as the other gifts. And ALL the gifts are equally important for effective and complete ministry.

     G.Our Value

The kinds of gifts we have do not determine our value to the Body of Christ, nor to God. For we all belong to one Body, and need each other’s different gifts to function correctly.

We all belong to God because we have all been created in His image and purchased by the blood of His Son. These facts establish forever our personal worth and value.

Our worth is not based upon the kind of gifts we have, or the size of our ministry. Each person is valuable to God and to His Kingdom just as He has created him or her. Let us discard all pride­ful posturing and striving. Instead, let us with praise-filled hearts embrace all the Father has chosen to give to each one of us!

2. We Are One Body  (Rom 12:4,5)

Paul’s comments here are shorter than in 1 Corinthians 12, but the meaning is the same.

In verse 3 Paul writes, “God has allotted to each a [different} measure of faith”. Here in verses 4,5 the Holy Spirit  uses  the  illustration of the human body to recombine these different measures of faith. As each human body has many different members, each with its own particular function, so does the one Body of Christ.

Two important principles emerge from verses 4 and 5:

A. “We are ONE Body in Christ.”

We each belong to Christ’s Body. We do not belong to just ourselves. Therefore to despise, criticize, or be judgmental of another part of the Body denies and hinders the different functions God intended for His Church. He made each of us unique and different! There are no lesser gifts or persons! Because we are all members of His Body, we should treat each other with the kind of care and respect that would please the Lord.

B. “We are Members of One Another.”

Believers are members not only of One Body, but also of each other. This means we are mutually inter-dependent. The Body can function properly only when each member does its part. Therefore, it is very important for each member/ gift/ function to be recognized. Each one should be taught and encouraged to minister in the Body. The differences within the Body enrich all other members, as each member accepts the full expression of each gift God has given to the Body of Christ.

With these principles in mind, let us now examine in detail the seven Motivational Gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8. As we look at each gift, we will discuss:

  1. characteristics of each gift, and
  2. scriptural examples  of  each gift


v.6 – Perceiver-  Ongoing Insight

A person with the Motivational Gift of Prophecy could also be called a “perceptive” person. That is someone who sees and understands the deeper meaning of a situation. We are not talking about revelation, that is, seeing something never seen before.  We are talking about having the light  of the Word of God and the Spirit of God giving holy illumination to the mind of the person in order to reveal the truth of a situation. This Motivational Gift is characterized by the ability to:

  1. see or perceive beyond surface appearances;
  2. receive and declare truth about a situation;
  3. receive and declare insight about people or programs.

This creative gift from our Heavenly Father gives a believer the ability to see situations and  people  with ongoing prophetic insight . This gift (like the rest of the gifts listed in Romans 12) functions independent of any public ministry or position. In other words, someone with the Motivational Gift of Prophecy is NOT t he same as someone with the Ministry Gift of Prophet.

For The Church’s  Benefit

As with any gift, the Motivational Gift of Prophecy can be used in a helpful and beneficial way -or it can be twisted and used to hurt. It is given by God and intended to be used for His glory and the Church’s benefit.

This gift can motivate  a person to want to:

  1. repair broken relationships in the Body of Christ;
  2. improve or build up a person’s walk with God.

Persons with this gift will desire to “cut to the heart of a matter” – whether it is a problem between people, or a spiritual challenge in the church. They will often desire to speak out the truth they perceive, whether it is to an individual or a whole congregation.

It is very important to remember, however, that having the Motivational Gift of Prophecy does not necessarily make you a prophet.

Sometimes a person motivated by this gift may also be a teacher with unusual insight in a local assembly. Or that person may be a good counselor. Yet it is possible, even likely, that a person with the Motivational Gift of Prophecy will often be used prophetically (l Cor 12:10) by the Spirit of God . He may even have the Ministry Gift of Prophet (Eph. 4:11).

Persons with this Motivational Gift tend to be very “clear-cut” in their approach. To them, something is either true and right -or it is false and wrong; there is no “middle ground”, and there are no exceptions. Persons with this Motivational Gift need to seek the balance of learning to be merciful and gentle as they seek to exhort, correct, instruct and warn others.

Proper Use Of This Gift

Verse 6 uses the phrase “in proportion to their faith.” This sounds like the “measure of faith ” spoken of in verse 3, yet it is different. “Measure of faith” has to do with having sober judgment (v. 3) regarding the place or sphere of influence that our Motivational Gifts give to each of us

“In proportion to our faith” refers to the proper usage of the prophetic gifting.

The Greek word for proportion is analogi, used to describe mathematical limits. In relation to this gift, analogi means two things:

  1. The person who is prophetically gifted in speaking God’s word must not go beyond that which God has given him to speak.
  2. This same person must not withhold, or give less than,the full truth as God shows it to him. 

The proper use of every gift of God requires us to be responsible, and to use it correctly. Those who have the Motivational Gift of Prophecy must use their words very carefully. They should not say more or less  than God has given them to say.

It should be said as well that EVERYTHING SPOKEN FROM A PROPHETIC BASIS MUST BE JUDGED AND COMPARED TO GOD’S WRITTEN WORD, THE BIBLE. A prophetic word should never disagree with what is already in the Bible.

Both the person who hears the prophetic word and the person who speaks with prophetic insight should do this comparison.

It is very important for a person with this gift to make very certain that what he is perceiving is from God’s Spirit -not from his own spirit, or a demonic influence!

It is not always easy to distinguish between God’s Spirit speaking and our own spirit or even an evil spirit speaking to us. A person who is young in the Lord might become confused and make mistakes. One must humbly admit to those mistakes, and carefully submit to God in prayer and the study of His Word (2 Pet 3:15-18).

Points Of Caution

This Motivational Gift most often focuses on things that are wrong. Therefore, if you have this gift, you must be careful to not dwell on the negative. You should also be careful to judge the sin, NOT the person caught in the sin.

One should speak with respect and sensitivity, so as not to offend people so badly that they miss what God wants to say to them.

A Scriptural Example Of Prophetic: Gifting

John the Baptist was truly a man gifted with the Ministry Gift of Prophet. His gifting and ministry form a “bridge” between the ministries of the Old Testament prophets and those of the New Testament prophets.

John the Baptist’s primary calling was fulfilled through the Ministry Gift of a Prophet (Eph 4:11). However, his life and ministry can also give us some insight into the function of the Motivational Gift of the prophetic:

  1. His unconventional dress (Matt 3:4) shows that he was not concerned about external appearance
  2. He was aware of his personal unworthiness (Luke 3:16). People with a prophetic gift tend to be hard on themselves.
  3. He knew he was only a voice for God. His ministry was completely scripturally based, as we can see in Luke 3:3-6.
  4. He was frank and direct in confronting the crowd with their sin, warning them of judgment, and exhorting  them to repent (Luke 3:7-9).
  5. He did not dwell on the negative. When people from the crowd asked, “What shall we do then?” he told them the positive steps they could take to turn from their sin (Luke 3:10-14).
  6. He looked for repentance, that is, a change in lifestyle in people (Luke 3:8).
  7. He placed great emphasis on right (good) and wrong (evil) (Luke 3:10-14) and openly rebuked evil in those in authority (Luke 3:19).
  8. He discerned people’s motives (Luke 3:7).


V.7 – Server – A Spirit Of Servanthood

The Greek word used here for “ministry” is diakonia. This is one of the Greek words used for “ser­vant“. Some would limit the use of this word to only that ministry or service done by a deacon (which is derived from diakonia). ‘This is not an unreasonable interpretation.

However, this word is used in Scripture in a much wider application. Diakonia almost always appears in the New Testament in connection with the service of, and in, the Christian Church.

It is used in the following ways in the New Testament:

  1. Service in general, meaning all works of service and ministry done for the good of the Body of Christ (Eph 4:12).
  2. As the apostolic ministry and the ministering of the Word (Acts 6:4;20:24).
  3. In the office of deacon and its areas of service and ministry (Acts 6:1-3).

Some are especially gifted in the area of service. They are fulfilled when they are serving the needs of others impractical ways.

But there is an important lesson to be learned here, regardless of your giftings. The above scriptures imply -and many others specifically state -that everything we do and are as Christians, and especial­ly leaders, is to be marked by a spirit of servanthood.

No matter what your God-given gifts are, or the extent of the ministry God has given you, you are not greater than the Lord of the Church. (John 15:20). Everything we do is in service to Him, and to His Church.

If you desire to be conformed into His image -He Who gave His life for us -your life and ministry should be characterized by a Christ­-like, servant’s heart (Matt 20:20-28).


Serving is one of the Motivational Gifts that God the Father gives to us at our creation, our birth. Serving focuses on the giving of practical assistance and help. Those who have the gift of Ministry (service) will often have the ability to identify an unmet need in the Body.

They will desire to move in and do what needs to be done to meet that need. They will demonstrate God’s love by meeting practical needs and giving “hands-on” service and assistance . You will often find these people helping the poor and infirm.

Those with the Gift of Ministry will often be gifted with their hands and have physical stamina. The Gift of Ministry is task-oriented.

The Honor Of Serving

This Motivational Gift of Serving is often underestimated and  regarded as “unspiritual”. Because it is often focused on material and physical benefits, many look down upon those who minister in this way as less important. Thus, the gift of serving is of ten neglected and not honored in the Body of Christ.

But remember,  it was Jesus Himself – the ultimate Servant – Who was humble enough to serve others by washing their feet (John 13:3-17).

Also, the qualifications for dea­con in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 require these “servers” to be people of Christ-like and worthy character. And when the apostles first insti­tuted the office of deacon, they specifically sought out people of “good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:1-7).

These verses prove that being a servant is NOT a lowly thing in God’s Kingdom! Maybe the world of fleshly, unspiritual men sees a ser­vant as “lowly”, but a servant is most certainly NOT lowly in God’s eyes (see Matthew 25:34-40).

From a wrong, fleshly human perspective, this gift can be viewed as not very important. If this wrong perspective is believed, the person with the Motivational Gift of Service might view himself as unimportant and so deny the good gift God has given him for the Church. If service is not considered important, then the person will want to grab for other gifts that appear to be more “glorious” and more “important”

This wrong thinking and neglect of the gift of service leaves an empty place in what should be a well­- rounded and balanced ministry in and to the Body. It will also leave the person with this gift both empty and frustrated, trying vainly to find a release of ministry outside what God has gifted him for.

If we leave ailing members of the Body uncared for because of a lack of this servant gift, our testimony in our local communities is damaged. It can even invalidate the Gospel message in the minds of unbelievers when they see us not serving and caring for our own members.

A Good Standing

The ministry of the Server is both valuable and truly spiritual, and an  important  part  of  the Church’s witness. The Server should devote himself to this ministry with joy and confidence, for “those who have served well as dea­cons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith  which is in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 3:13).

A Scriptural Example Of Ministry (Serving) Gifting

Martha is an example of someone with the Motivational Gift of Ministry (service). Luke 10:38-42 and John 12:2 show both the positive and potential negative outcomes of this gift:

  1. Servers find fulfillment through deeds rather than
  2. “Martha served.” Servers have a tendency to prefer to do things
  3. Servers are generally neither organizers nor They are better at following directions.
  4. “Martha was distracted with much ” Servers often get too involved and troubled about things. Also they find it hard to say “no” to new tasks (Luke 10:40-41).
  5. Servers may get so busy serving that they could potentially neglect their spiritual life (Luke 10:42).
  6. But.. Servers are important, and are required for any church to function!!!


v.7 – Teacher- Imparters Of Truth

This creational gift focuses on the understandingBelievers with this gift will seek to clarify truth and doctrine, expounding upon the meaning and practical application of the truth. They will desire to impart knowledge and lead others into understanding the truth. To search out and validate truth will be as meaningful to those motivated by this gift as the actual imparting of it to others (1 Tim 5:17).

Needed In The Church – And The World

Some believers feel that being a teacher is a lesser gift and not to be desired. Yet how many of us have learned something valuable from a teacher? You are able to read this magazine because someone taught you how!

It is seldom that the world notices who the teachers are; but often much of civilization depends on what teachers do and say.

Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Church and the greatest Teacher of all, has given this gift to us because the Church needs it -you and I need it! In God’s Kingdom, there are no lesser gifts or little people.

A Scriptural Example Of The Teaching Gift

Apollos is an excellent example of the Motivational Gift of Teaching (Acts 18:24-28; 1 Cor 3:6):

  1. The teacher “waters” (1 Cor 3:6) – that is, helps the Church (believers) to grow.
  2. Apollos was “an eloquent man,” that is, gifted as a speaker.
  3. Apollos was “mighty in the Scriptures.” Teachers should base their instruction on the Scriptures, including their examples or illustrations.
  4. Apollos “spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord. Teachers are generally objective, and will thoroughly research a subject before speaking on it.
  5. Apollos was instructed “more accurately” by Aquila and Scripture says that teachers should also be teachable.
  6. Apollos “greatly helped those who had believed through “ Teachers provide the substance (the foundational Scriptures) on which experience can be placed and made permanent.

Experiences, by themselves, can pass away; experience based in the Word is permanent.


v.8 – Exhorter- Sons Of Encouragement

As teaching is directed to the understanding, exhortation is directed at the heart, conscience and will. This gifting, working through a believer, will cause him to urge others to their full spiritual maturity. The operation of this gift is often directed toward those who are in difficult circumstances and suffering affliction.

The Motivational Gift of Exhortation works well in partnership with other gifts, such as teaching, and the prophetic and apostolic ministry gifts (l Tim 4:13; Titus 1:9; 1 Cor 14:3;Acts 4:36).

An exhorter will arouse and motivate both individual believers and the Church as a whole to patient endurance, brotherly love, and good works (Heb 3:13; 10:23-25). Exhorters will have a great ability to stimulate the faith and personal growth of others.

A Scriptural Example Of The Exhorting Gift

Barnabas is an outstanding portrayal of the exhorting gift, and of how that gift worked in partnership with his apostleship:

  1. “Barnabas” means son of encouragement or consolation(Acts 4:36).
  2. Exhorters have an encouraging message, that is, to follow the Lord purposefully (Acts 11:22-24).
  3. The exhorter’s message strengthens the souls of the believers and urges them to continue in the faith (Acts 14:20-22).
  4. Exhorters are generally positive about people and do not easily give up on them -even when others have (Acts 9:26,27).
  5. Exhorters have an ability to discern where people are in their spiritual growth and to speak to them on that level (Acts 11:22-24).
  6. It is important for an exhort­er to maintain a positive attitude.
  7. If Barnabas had not exhort­ed  the apostles to accept Saul (Paul), or exhorted Paul to accept Mark, almost half of the New Testament -the Gospel of Mark and the Epistles of Paul -might never have been written! (See Acts 15:37-39 and 2 Timothy 4:11).


V.8- The Giver- A Deep Desire

This gift involves a special ability – and desire -to share material assistance. The giving being discussed here is of personal resource -NOT the distribution out of the treasury of the Church.

You do NOT have to be wealthy to have this gift. However, it does seem that those with this motivational gift have often been blessed with abundant resource . It seems the more they give, the more they have! They also seem to have the corresponding abilities to accumulate, handle and distribute assets.

They will give out of a deep desire o see the needs of God’s work met and the ministry of others succeed.

All believers, especially the leaders of a church or ministry, should tithe and give offerings. But those with the special Gift of Giving will give with extraordinary liberality -even when in poverty and affliction (Mark 12:41-44).

Purity Of Motive

The word “simplicity” (or “liberality” in some translations) comes from the Greek word laplotetes.

This term sometimes means “liberality” in Scripture. But here it means single-mindedness of heart, a purity of motive or purpose.

Since the giving involves personal resource, the giver should NEVER have a selfish motive. Sometimes the wealthy will make a donation expecting to gain influence or advantage for himself or

herself . The ruling elders or senior pastor should never allow this (see James Chapter 2).

If such a motive is suspected, those in leadership should make clear to the giver that there will be no advantage allowed him. If the person giving the gift does not understand or agree, the gift should be refused. God will pro­vide for your needs another way. [For an example of how God feels about impure motives in giving, see Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11.]

A Scriptural Example Of The Giver

The life of Abraham provides us with some insights as to the functioning of this gift:

  1. Givers may be entrusted by God with many assets (Gen 13:1,2).
  2. Givers are of a generous and liberal spirit (Gen 13:9,10).
  3. Givers can be very aggressive and resourceful in the protection of their assets (Gen 14:14-16).
  4. Givers recognize God’s work and causes, and are responsive (Gen 14:18-20 -Melchizedek and tithing). .
  5. Givers have a firm knowledge that God is the source of their wealth, and give Him the glory (Gen 14:22-24).
  6. God puts givers in the right place at the right


v.8 The Leader – Servant-Leadership

The Greek word for “rules” (or “leads”) is ho proistemi . It means literally “he that is placed in front,” indicating a position of both authority and responsibility. Both of these go hand-in-hand in God’s Kingdom and are tempered by a servant’s heart.

The “leading” described by this word is NOT to be mistaken for simple management. Nor does it describe a gift that puts the person into a prominent public ministry.

Rather, it strongly indicates a requirement to lead for the good of the Body with a sense of personal responsibility. Hence, the exhortation  to lead  with diligence.

The word translated as “diligence” means “prompt efficiency”, “without delay”, “a holy haste or zeal”. All of this requires self-discipline and vigilance as to the condition of the flock.

Partnering With Others

Paul’s description of the Gift of Leading seems most likely to refer to those who hold (l Thess 5:12) or aspire to (l Tim 3:1) the office of Elder. However, this Motivational Gift functions in partnership with many of the other Ministry Gifts -such as apostle, prophet, pastor and teacher.

Those who have this gift will lead by working with and through others. They will often get the job done by organizing and delegating responsibilities and authority to others.

A leader will define the tasks and provide leadership support and guidance -while releasing others to partner in accomplishing the goal.

A Scriptural Example Of The Gift  Of Leader

Nehemiah serves as an example of superb leadership skills and heart motivation:

  1. Leaders have a special feel for the cause of God’s people (Neh 1:1-4).
  2. Leaders have the ability to survey and define what needs to be done (Neh 2:12-17).
  3. Leaders have the ability to break down major goals into smaller achievable tasks (Neh 3:1-32).
  4. Leaders can take pressure and opposition and still proceed (Neh 4:1-23).
  5. Leaders make things “easy” for others and are not a personal burden  (Neh 5:14-19).
  6. Leaders know how to delegate the authority needed to accomplish the responsibility given (Neh 7:1-2).


v.8- Mercy Shower Compassion

This gift is similar in some ways to the Motivational Gift of Giver. However, the word “mercy” denotes a more direct, personal ministry to those in need.

Believers so gifted will have an ability to identify with the needs and afflictions of those they come in contact with. This gift will include a practical, compassionate love. They can make very goo counselors if they will also use wisdom and discipline.

Uplifting Others

The Scripture exhorts those who have this Gift of Mercy to show it with “cheerfulness . There is an important idea being put  forth here.

Often the work of mercy can be difficult, even disagreeable, because the mercy-showers will minister to people in their worst condition. This can, over time, make the mercy-shower become grudging or even resentful in helping others.

This negative  attitude defeats the very purpose of mercy. A cheerful mercy uplifts those that are sick, wounded of soul or discouraged. A grudging, reluctant mercy would make the afflicted person feel despised .

The best way to stay cheerful is to constantly be going to Him Whose mercies are new every morning” (Lam 3:22-23) and be filled daily with His Spirit. Mercy-filled believers function best when they build themselves up through the Word and prayer on a daily basis.

A Scriptural Example Of The Gift Of Mercy

There could be no better example of mercy shown in Scripture (except for God Himself) than the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37:

  1. Mercy-showers have great compassion for  the  hurting (v. 33).
  2. He went to him” (v.34). Mercy-showers seem drawn to the broken
  3. Mercy-showers participate in a practical way: they are ready to do what needs to be done and “get their hands dirty” if necessary – as when the Samaritan bandaged the victim’s wounds and “took care of him” (v.34).
  4. Mercy-showers are sensitive to people’ s practical needs: The Samaritan paid the victim’s bill (v.35).

Showing mercy can lead to considerable  personal inconve­nience – yet great fulfillment.


A Quick Comparison of The Motivational Gifts

Having studied the unique characteristics of each of these motivational gifts, let us look at how these gifts might function in a hypothetical situation.

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:

  1. The Perceiver (prophetic per­son) says: “I knew that was going to happen.”
  2. The Server (ministry) says: “Here, I’ll clean it up.”
  3. The Teacher says: “Now, there’s a lesson we can learn from that. If you had placed the glass in a better spot…”
  4. The Exhorter (encourager) turns to the person who dropped the glass and says:”Don’t feel bad- it probably won’t happen again.”
  5. “And don’t worry,” the Giver adds, “I’ll pay for the glass!”
  6. Meanwhile the Leader quickly takes charge of the situation by asking the waiter for a broom and dustpan and another glass of water.
  7. 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.