Saturday, December 13, 2008

Spiritual Gifts pt15: Pinpointing Your Gift

By Bill Gothard

Have you discovered your motivational gift yet? Or perhaps you aren’t certain quite yet, but you’ve managed to narrow it down to two. Well, in this lesson, I’m going to teach you how to use the irritations from others to help you discover your motivational gift.

1. Ask yourself: “What do Christians do or not do that disappoints me and caused unbelievers to reject the Christian life?”

2. Realize that your answer to this question will be greatly influenced by your spiritual gift:

* They compromise with the world, (prophet)
* They fail to demonstrate true Christian concern. (server)
* They are substituting experience for sound doctrine. (teacher)
* They are not growing to spiritual maturity. (exhorter)
* They are not trusting God for their finances. (giver)
* They are not accomplishing any major goals. (organizer)
* They do not have genuine love for each other. (mercy)

3. Determine what you can do now to begin resolving the problem that concerns you the most.

* Explain your understanding of the problem to God.
* Dedicate yourself to being part of the solution, whatever the cost.
* Ask God for wisdom as you read and memorize His Word daily.
* Take advantage of every little opportunity that He gives to you.
* Constantly evaluate your results in the light of God’s Word and lasting fruit.


If each of the seven motivational gifts were represented in a family and someone dropped the dessert on the floor, here is what each one might say and why they would say it.

PROPHET: “That’s what happens when you’re not careful!” (Motivation: To correct the problem)

SERVER: “Oh, let me help you clean it up.” (Motivation: To fulfill a need)

TEACHER: “The reason that it fell is that it was too heavy on one side.” (Motivation: To discover why it happened)

EXHORTER: “Next time, let’s serve the dessert with the meal.” (Motivation: To correct the problem)

GIVER: “I’ll be happy to buy a new dessert.” (Motivation: To give to a tangible need)

ORGANIZER: “Jim, would you get the mop. Sue, please help pick it up; and Mary, help me fix another dessert.” (Motivation: To achieve the immediate goal of the group)

MERCY: “Don’t feel badly. It could have happened to anyone.” (Motivation: To relieve embarrassment)


Many Christians are confused about their motivational gift because they enjoy practicing many gifts. Use the following types of questions to help yourself analyze why you enjoy doing a certain activity. Let us suppose, for example, that you enjoy teaching a Bible class.

1. QUESTION: What would your basic motive be in teaching a Bible class?

ANSWER: To encourage people to be honest before God and others. (A prophet’s motivation)

2. QUESTION: But why do you want people to be honest with God and others?

ANSWER: So that they will not hurt each other’s feelings. (A mercy’s motivation)

3. QUESTION: Why do you not want Christians to hurt each other?

ANSWER: So that they will be able to grow spiritually. (An exhorter’s motivation)

4. QUESTION: Why do you want Christians to grow spiritually?

ANSWER: So that they can appreciate the true message of the Bible. (A teacher’s motivation)

5. QUESTION: Why do you want Christians to understand the true message of the Bible?

ANSWER: So that they can get their lives in order and be useful to God. (An organizer’s motivation)

6. QUESTION: Why do you want Christians to be organized for God?

ANSWER: So that they will be free to give to the Lord’s work. (A giver’s motivation)

7. QUESTION: Why do you want Christians to give to the Lord’s work?

ANSWER: So that we can meet the practical needs of Christians and unbelievers. (A server’s motivation)



Edward said...

Bill, just a quick note to say that over the last 28 years your foundational teaching on the gifts has been so life giving and helpful for me as I've led various groups. I've tried to pass some of it on, but I thank God that He used you in my life back in Chicago years ago. In Him, Dr.Ed Liebenthal

Bill Gothard said...

That is always good to hear. Never forget, however, that it is all knowledge of God. I only teach what He leads me.