Spiritual Gifts Tests
Spiritual Gifts Descriptions
Who in Scripture best illustrates the motivational gift of mercy?
What guidelines are given for the gift of mercy in Romans 12:15?
* Weep with
* Rejoice with
What basic principle does the one with the gift of mercy most need to exercise?
* Moral freedom
Why is this true?
* It protects the one with the gift of mercy from improper relationships.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GIFT
Deeply loyal to friends
A person with the gift of mercy will demonstrate loyalty to a friend by even reacting harshly toward those who attack him. When the Apostle John watched the Samaritans reject Jesus whom he loved, John wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume them. (See Luke 9:54)
Need for deep friendships
The very nature of a person with the gift of mercy requires close friendships. These friendships, however, must have a mutual commitment which is often reaffirmed. John enjoyed such a friendship with Christ. He was not only closer to Christ than most of the other disciples, but he referred to himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loved.” (See John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20)
Empathize with hurting people
The gift of mercy enables the one having it to sense which individuals are hurting and to share the pain with them. Along with the pain, a mercy senses the full scope of emotions. John wrote his first epistle to give joy, fellowship, hope, and confidence and to cast out fear and torment. (See 1 John 1:3-4; 3:2-3; 4:18; 5:13-14)
Decisions based on benefits
Those with the gift of mercy find it hard to be firm because they do not want to offend other people. Therefore, the mercy must see that greater hurt and offenses will occur if he fails to be decisive. When John was faced with denying Jesus, he demonstrated a boldness and decisiveness which caused the Sadducees to marvel. (See Acts 4:13)
Deeply sensitive to loved ones
The gift of mercy carries with it the ability to sense genuine love. It, therefore, carries a greater vulnerability to deeper and more frequent hurts from those who fail to demonstrate sincere love. John used the word “love” more than any other disciple in his Gospel and epistles.
Attract people in distress
One with the gift of mercy has a deep understanding of people who are going through mental or emotional distress. This sensitivity causes those with hurts to be drawn to him and to confide in him. When Christ died, he transferred responsibility for his grieving mother to John.
Desire to remove hurts
Whereas an exhorter will try to help a person find benefit from his hurts, the one with the gift of mercy will try to remove the source of them. The message of John’s first epistle was for Christians to stop hurting and hating each other. (See 1 John 3:11,15)
Measure acceptance by closeness
A person with the gift of mercy tends to need physical closeness in order to be reassured of acceptance. The closeness includes rich times of fellowship. John sought out the closest place to Christ at the Last Supper and leaned upon the Lord. His need for physical closeness may also have prompted his request to sit next to Christ in glory. (See Mark 10:35-37)
Attracted to prophets
The statement that opposites attract is certainly true with the motivational gifts. Those with the gift of mercy are attracted to those with the gift of prophecy. The firm truth of the prophet is thus balanced with the gentle love of the mercy. John spent more time with Peter than with any other disciple. (See Luke 22:8; Acts 3:1-11; 4:13-19; 8:14)
MISUSES OF THE GIFT
Taking up offenses
The tendency of one with the gift of mercy is to take up an offense for someone who is being hurt by another person, especially if the one being hurt is a friend. Before comfort is given, a prophet should check out what caused the hurt, and an exhorter should give steps for properly responding to it.
The deep need for commitment in a close friendship can cause those with the gift of mercy to monopolize the time and attention of others. As he experiences disappointments in one friendship, the mercy tends to place greater demands on a new friendship.
If those with the gift of mercy do not have spiritual discernment as to why people suffer, they may give sympathy and encouragement to those who are suffering as a direct result of violating God’s moral laws. The one with the gift of mercy can learn discernment by seeing people through the eyes of the other spiritual gifts.
Failing to be firm
When a person with the gift of mercy is given a position of leadership, he will tend to avoid disciplinary action which is needed. As a result, the person who should have been disciplined is not brought to repentance, prophets react to his leadership, and other “mercies” react to the prophets.
Leaning on emotions vs. reason
Because those with the gift of mercy have such sensitive feelings, they tend to base their decisions on emotions rather than on principles. Their subjective reasoning can easily cause them to reject Biblical doctrines which seem harsh to them.
Defrauding opposite sex
A person of the opposite sex tends to be drawn to one who has the gift of mercy. This attraction comes about because of the ability of the “mercy” to be a sensitive, understanding, and responsive listener. This factor must be considered in any relationship which a “mercy” has with a person of the opposite sex.
Reacting to God’s purposes
Unlike exhorters, who look at suffering as a means of receiving more grace and growing spiritually, those with the gift of mercy tend to react to the idea that God would allow a good person to suffer. Unless the person with the gift of mercy maintains a proper perspective, he can easily become bitter toward God.
Failing to show deference
When a person with the gift of mercy demands physical closeness in a friendship, he may fail to consider the desires of others who need that person’s time and attention. For this reason, John was gently reproved for his request to be next to Jesus in His kingdom.
Cutting off insensitive people
A person whose words and actions reflect insensitivity to the feelings of other people will be quickly recognized and reacted to by one with the gift of mercy. Rather than trying to help this insensitive person, the “mercy” will tend to close off his spirit and cut off fellowship with him.
Who in Scripture best illustrates the motivational gift of exhorting?
What guidelines are given for the gift of exhorting in Romans 12:12?
* Rejoice in hope
* Constant readiness for prayer
What basic principle does the exhorter most need to exercise?
* God’s design
Why is this true?
* It allows the exhorter to understand and explain God’s sovereignty.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GIFT
Committed to spiritual growth
The motivation of an exhorter is to see spiritual growth take place in practical living, and he is willing to become personally involved to see it achieved. Paul said, “…I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). Paul further declared that he worked night and day to “…present every man perfect [mature] in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28).
Able to see root problems
An exhorter can discern the spiritual maturity of another person. Based on this, the exhorter is motivated to search out hindrances in the lives of those who are not growing spiritually and to give further encouragement to those who are. Paul saw the Corinthians as spiritual infants and therefore could not speak unto them “…as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal…” (1 Corinthians 3:1).
See steps of action
An exhorter has the ability to visualize spiritual achievement for another Christian and then help him work out practical steps of action to achieve it. These steps are designed to remove hindrances and develop through which the Holy Spirit can work. Paul told Timothy to flee youthful lusts, to avoid foolish questions, and to follow righteousness with a pure heart. (See 2 Timothy 2:22-23)
Raise hope for solutions
An exhorter tends to use examples from the lives of others to help Christians see the potential of daily victory. Paul used the testimony of one church to motivate another church. (See 2 Corinthians 9:2) He used his own life to illustrate God’s grace since he was the chief of all sinners. (See 1 Timothy 1:15)
Turn problems into benefits
Mature exhorters have learned by experience that God gives special grace during trials. Based on this, Paul gloried in tribulation. His credentials were the persecutions which he experienced and the counseling God gave him during his afflictions. (See 2 Corinthians 1:1-7)
Desire to be “transparent”
An exhorter knows that true growth will not take place where there is guilt. Paul told Timothy that his chief weapon was a clear conscience. (See 1 Timothy 1:19) An exhorter desires an open life to gain a wider hearing for the Gospel. Paul explained, “…I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).
Gain insight through experience
The exhorter is motivated to learn “cause-and-effect sequence” and through them to discover underlying principles of life. He studies both Scripture and experience to find these. His motivation is to promote spiritual growth and to bring diverse groups of Christians together.
Urgency to act on clear steps
An exhorter tends to explain truth with logical reasoning in order to motivate people to act upon it. Paul’s writings in 1 Corinthians 15 have been studied in law schools for their logic. He reasoned with the Jews, the Greeks, King Agrippa, and others. (See Acts 18:4; 26:28)
Desire to share face to face
An exhorter needs to see the facial expressions of his listeners in order to determine their response and to ensure a positive result. Paul’s longing to see his fellow believers was constantly reaffirming. (See 1 Thessalonians 2:17; 3:10; 2 Timothy 1:4) He used personal conferences extensively. (See 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12)
MISUSES OF THE GIFT
Keeping others waiting for them
An exhorter’s willingness to give people whatever time is necessary to help them grow spiritually often cuts into family time and personal responsibilities. He often assumes that his family will understand, until major resentments surface. Paul understood the sacrifices that he was making in his ministry; however, if an exhorter is married, his priority must be his marriage. (See 1 Corinthians 7:32-34)
Looking to themselves for solutions
As an exhorter gains experience and success in counseling, he tends to categorize problems as he hears them and arrive at conclusions before getting all the facts. By failing to listen completely and sense direction from the Holy Spirit, and exhorter can be guilty of the folly of giving the wrong direction. (See Proverbs 18:13)
Being proud of visible results
When an exhorter gives steps of action, he assumes that they will be carried out. He bases this expectation on the fact that he has “come alongside” and is working with the person to achieve agreed upon goals. As spiritual growth becomes visible, it is easy for an exhorter to take personal credit for it. He may also be tempted to settle for outward conformity rather than true inward change.
Starting projects prematurely
Exhorters tend to jump into new projects without finishing existing ones. They use projects to motivate others, and then when others are involved, the exhorters find a better project. After several projects, those who are working on them may become frustrated. The exhorter, however, sees the projects as simply a means to accomplish a bigger perspective.
Treating people as projects
The exhorter is constantly on the lookout for steps of action which will bring lasting results. As he works with his family or friends, they may get the impression that they are simply another counseling project rather than real people who need personal attention.
Sharing private illustrations
The problem of treating family and friends as “projects” rather than people is made even worse as the exhorter shares private illustrations which came out of his counseling experiences. Exhorters depend heavily on illustrations to communicate their message. However, when these are used without permission, listeners become uneasy and those who were counseled become resentful.
Presenting truth out of balance
Exhorters tend to avoid heavy doctrinal teaching which does not have immediate practical application. The result of this emphasis can be an imbalance of teaching which will eventually show up as doctrinal error. Thus, the exhorter needs the balancing ministry of the teacher.
Setting unrealistic goals
Exhorters often visualize long-range projects and goals for people. These are usually presented without reference to the amount of time that will be required to achieve them. Those whom the exhorter motivates assume that the projects and goals will be achieved much sooner than they can be. This situation raises expectations and breeds disillusionment.
Giving up on uncooperative people
Exhorters tend to lose hope with people who do not quickly and consistently respond to the steps of action which are given for spiritual growth. By surrounding himself with only those who do respond quickly, he loses valuable personal character training and insights which God must then teach in other ways.
Who in Scripture best illustrates the motivational gift of teaching?
What guidelines are given for the gift of teaching in Romans 12:11?
* Diligent research
* Fervent spirit
* Serving God
What basic principle does the teacher most need to exercise?
* Meditation on God’s Word
Why is this true?
* It allows the teacher to become mighty in spirit.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TEACHER
Need to validate information
When a teacher hears important statements, whether given privately or publicly, he will desire to verify them. His motivation is to confirm that the statements are true and accurate and would, therefore, have the authority to bring spiritual freedom. Luke wrote his Gospel to Theophilus, “That thou might know the certainty of those things, wherein thou has been instructed” (Luke 1:4).
Check out teachers
A person with the gift of teaching will be very alert to false teachers. He will want to find out their background before listening to them. He will also assume that others want to know his qualifications; thus, he will tend to give these before speaking. Luke began his Gospel by affirming that he was an eyewitness and that he “…had perfect understanding of all things from the very first…” (Luke 1:3).
Rely on established resources
A teacher has a need to go to primary sources to validate truth. He will also use accepted works of recognized authorities to further confirm statements which others make. Luke praised the Bereans for daily checking out Paul’s statements against the Old Testament Scriptures. (See Acts 17:11) Luke also related his writings to the other Gospel accounts and to the Old Testament.
Present truth systematically
Teachers tend to feel more comfortable when material is laid out in an orderly sequence. The teacher wants to know the events in the order in which they occurred. Luke emphasized the chronological structure of his Gospel when he explained that his approach was “…to write unto thee in order…” (Luke 1:3).
Gather many facts
Those with the gift of teaching often have a greater delight in researching facts than they do in teaching them. When they do speak or write, they feel constrained to give as many facts as possible. Luke’s Gospel is the longest of the four; he includes information left out by other writers, and he emphasizes the completeness of his account. (See Acts 1:1)
A teacher enjoys giving details which are not noticed or mentioned by others. Luke gives precise descriptions of events, conversations, circumstances and physical conditions. He detailed more names, titles, cities, dates, events, and sidelights than any other Gospel writer.
Uneasy with subjective truth
A teacher is concerned that truth be presented in balance. He recognizes the danger of using personal experience as a foundation for truth. He wants to go from Scripture to experience, rather than from experience to a proof text in Scripture. A teacher tends to remain silent until information has been heard, observed, and verified. Luke’s silence is conspicuous in the New Testament; none of his own statements are recorded.
Persevere with accepted teachers
A teacher tends to remain loyal to a mentor or a school as long as any truth remains and does what he can to promote the truth. Luke demonstrated amazing loyalty to Paul and his message in prison, even after others left him. “…Only Luke is with me…” (2 Timothy 4:11)
If a teacher learns that his facts are wrong, he will not simply accept the conclusions but will want to retrace his own investigations to determine at what point he got off the track. He will desire to use the same procedure in helping others who have strayed from the truth.
MISUSES OF THE GIFT
Becoming proud of knowledge
With the teacher’s thoroughness in checking out facts, he will acquire much knowledge. Since “…knowledge puffs up…” (1 Corinthians 8:1), it is very easy for him to become proud. He may also appear prideful by giving far more information than is needed to prove a point. Further pride can be communicated by the attitude “It isn’t right until I check it out and say that it is right.”
Despising lack of credentials
Many teachers attempt to control misinformation by requiring approved courses of instruction. By depending only on these courses, credentials can be overemphasized, and the practical wisdom of those whom teachers consider uneducated can be despised or minimized. In such cases, teachers make the mistake of concentrating on intellectual knowledge rather than spiritual perception.
Depending on human reasoning
Since he is able to use scholarly resources, a teacher can easily give the impression that he is the only source of truth and that his gift is more important than the other gifts. The teacher may also react to the need to bring his intellect under the control of the Holy Spirit, thus putting his scholarship ahead of the spiritual insight that comes through meditating on Scripture.
Criticizing practical applications
A teacher’s motivation to verify statements by the authority of Scripture may hinder him in making a wider Scriptural application. As he focuses on textual studies, he may miss the underlying principles that tie all Scripture together “…for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16)
Showing off research skills
When a Christian with the gift of teaching shares a conclusion, he feels obligated to explain how he arrived at it. He often assumes, wrongly, that because he enjoyed the research so much, others will also. Concentration on research may also cause a teacher to live in an unreal world which he has created by his exclusion of other people.
Rejecting Scriptural presuppositions
If a teacher fails to subject his intellect to the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, he will need to reexamine the “foundational truths of Scripture.” These are to be understood by faith. His theology will become the reorganization of Scripture around a philosophical base.
Putting mind above the Holy Spirit
The most effective way for anyone to keep his intellect under the control of the Holy Spirit is to meditate upon God’s Word day and night. Neither the inspiration or the true meaning of Scripture will be understood intellectually but will be discerned spiritually. If a teacher fails to become trusting of his own intellect.
Taking teachings to extremes
Truth out of balance leads to heresy. Imbalance begins by studying a doctrine out of its moral setting (i.e., the second coming without its purifying hope; communion without self-examination). Argumentation and division result. Imbalance also occurs by separating related truths (i.e., mercy without justice, grace without law).
Arguing over minor points
If a teacher leans on his own understanding, it is easy for him to reject an important spiritual truth because he detects a minor flaw in the presentation of it. He may further reject this truth because he is being asked to intellectually accept a conclusion without knowing how the other person arrived at it.
Who in Scripture best illustrates the motivational gift of serving?
What guidelines are given for the gift of serving in Romans 12:10?
* Kind affection
* Brotherly love
* Honor others
What basic principle does the server most need to exercise?
Why is this true?
* It gives the server protection for the management of his time.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SERVER
See and meet practical needs
Important need that would seem insignificant to others catch the eye and attention of the server. These needs are usually physical; however, the server knows that by meeting them he will bring encouragement and strength to those who receive his help. Timothy’s serving ability is noted by Paul: “For I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state” (Philippians 2:20).
Free others to achieve
The joy of the server is not just initiating tasks, but knowing that through them he is bringing a peace of mind to another person which will allow that person to be more productive in the tasks which God has called him to do. Timothy served Paul so that Paul could carry out his ministry. His serving was “…as a son with the father…” (Philippians 2:22).
Disregard for weariness
Because the server sees the importance of the tasks which he has begun, he will freely use up personal assets of time, money, and strength. His focus is not on himself, but rather on the completion of the tasks which he knows will benefit the individual and bring joy to himself.
Difficulty in saying “no”
As the server effectively meets one need, others may ask for similar help, not realizing the inner motivation of the server. These requests, however, are difficult to turn down because they represent needs, and the server feels obligated at having been asked.
Appreciation confirms to the server that his work is necessary, and it is being blessed by the Lord. The server also desires clear direction. Paul gave Timothy more praise and precise instructions than any other assistant. (See 1 and 2 Timothy) Servers prefer working with a person rather than working for a person.
Like short-range projects
The tasks which attract a server are usually immediate needs. The server often becomes frustrated with long-range planning or a continuous task which seems to have no visible progress. Timothy was urged to maintain endurance as a good soldier and to continue in the calling which he was given of God. (See 1 Timothy 4:16, and 2 Timothy 2:3)
Put extra touches to jobs
The server knows that by doing more than is expected he will not only delight the one being served, but demonstrate that he is doing it unto the Lord. “Going the extra mile” for a server may be trimming and sweeping after mowing the lawn or putting a bow and flower around a lunch box.
Meet needs quickly
In an effort to complete tasks, a server will try to avoid committees and what to him appears to be unnecessary “red tape.” In order to avoid delays, the server will use personal funds.
MISUSES OF THE GIFT
Giving unrequested help
Sometimes the tasks which the server sees appear to be more important to the server than the one being served. It may even be that the one who has the needs is not aware of them to the degree that the server is. In either case, a server who uses his initiative in meeting these needs may be judged as “pushy or intrusive.”
Letting things be too important
In order to meet the needs of others, servers will often neglect their own home and personal responsibilities. They will meet the serving needs at home, but leave the other needs unmet. This transfer of attention may cause reaction by the server’s family and the feeling by the one being served that too much attention is being put on physical things.
Working beyond physical limits
Inner tension resulting in physical ailments and especially stomach problems often occurs in servers. This condition is the consequence of extending themselves on either one job or taking on too many jobs. We know that Timothy had physical ailments by Paul’s instruction to him to take medication “…for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities” (1 Timothy 5:23). (Grape juice is very effective in calming stomach tensions)
Neglecting God-given priorities
Servers are often placed in positions of responsibility because they are diligent workers. It is then easy for them to volunteer a helping hand or become involved in tasks which they should be delegating to others. This imbalance causes the server’s authority to become frustrated because assigned tasks are not completed on schedule.
Reacting to overlooked needs
A server may react to people around him who, in his judgment, walk right past obvious needs. He assumes that others see what he sees. If he tells someone about a need and that person does not follow through on his suggestion, the server may become resentful.
Resenting lack of appreciation
If a server is given a physical job simply because he is a server and is expected to get his joy from doing it, he may feel misused and react to anger. He will then fail to remember that he is working for the Lord. A server’s perspective may also be lost if the one whom he is serving is not making wise use of his time.
Working people around their schedule
Because of the server’s lack of desire or ability to properly delegate tasks, he will often develop his own time schedule and force others to adapt to it. Lack of delegation may also hinder the family from feeling involved in his serving and cause them instead to feel that they are taken for granted.
Being frustrated with time limits
A server may react to a rigid schedule, not realizing that it is for his own protection. He may feel that it hinders him from the joy of additional serving. Twice Timothy was told by Paul not to get sidetracked. “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me…Do thy diligence to come before winter…” (2 Timothy 4:9,21).
Interfering with God’s discipline
The purposes of God may be frustrated when a server meets a need that God intended to bring about repentance. If a server would have met the physical needs of the prodigal son while he was in the sty, it would have hindered his return. (See Luke 15:11-31)
Who in Scripture best illustrates the motivational gift of organizing?
What guidelines are given for the gift of organizing in Romans 12:14?
* Bless persecutors
* Bless and curse not
What basic principle does the organizer most need to exercise?
Why is this true?
* It causes the organizer to learn to be sensitive to the needs of others.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GIFT
Able to visualize final results
When a major project is given to an organizer, he is able to picture the completed task and what it will take to accomplish it. When Nehemiah was given the task of removing the “great affliction and reproach of God’s people in Jerusalem,” he immediately visualized the need to rebuild the walls. (See Nehemiah 1:2-3)
Need loyalty in associates
In order for an organizer to visualize the completion of a task, he needs to know who and what his resources are. Since the efficiency of his entire operation depends upon the faithfulness of the workers, he would rather have fewer that he can count on than more that he cannot count on. Nehemiah required an oath of cooperation from the rulers, nobles, and people. (See Nehemiah 5:1-13)
Ability to delegate
An organizer knows which tasks to delegate and which he must do himself. He also is able to sense which workers will need more assistance than others. Organizers are able to naturally maintain a continued accountability with their workers. Nehemiah delegated the building of the walls, but he retained responsibility for dealing with the enemies. (See Nehemiah 4:13)
Withstand reaction to tasks
Once an organizer commits himself to a task, he is willing to endure much opposition to his leadership. This reaction may come from insiders or outsiders. However, he knows that without the continuous pressures that he must exert, the final goal will not be achieved. Nehemiah responded to persistent opposition from outside enemies and fellow workers. (See Nehemiah 4:8-18)
Make jobs look easy
An organizer has the ability to take seemingly impossible tasks and break them down into achievable goals. Nehemiah took the huge task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and broke it down into smaller sections which each family or group was able to complete. (See Nehemiah 3:1-32).
Very alert to details
An organizer notices what others might consider small details, but which he knows are essential in order for the project to be completed in the proper way. He also tends to remove himself from distracting details in order to focus on the ultimate goal. Nehemiah did not get involved in actual building; however, he removed obstacles such as financial pressures which would have hindered the workers. (See Nehemiah 5:1-13).
Complete tasks quickly
The efficiency of organizers begins before they start a project by checking out and securing needed resources. Nehemiah secured timber from the king’s forest before the rebuilding began. Organizer’s also place workers according to their strengths and weaknesses so that maximum productivity can be achieved.
Able to be decisive
Because the final goal is clearly visualized by the organizer, he is able to quickly evaluate requests and situations and make firm decisions. Nehemiah was consistently invited by his enemies to come and have a conference with them. His decision not to come was immediate and decisive.
Completion involves cleanup
In an organizer’s mind, the job is not finished until everything is back in its place. He will inspire and encourage workers to complete a job by approval, praise, reproof, and challenge. The organizer’s final joy is seeing all the parts come together. It doesn’t matter to him if others appreciate the job as long as he knows it was accomplished according to the plans laid out.
MISUSES OF THE GIFT
Viewing people only as resources
If an organizer is in the position of authority, he can simply direct people based upon his gift of seeing the bigger picture. However, if he is not in this position, he must earn the right to be heard. Then he must patiently explain that all the steps which he sees are required to reach the goal. An organizer will tend to make suggestions and then react or become discouraged when these are not followed.
Building loyalty with favoritism
An organizer is very sensitive to loyalty. He depends upon it to accomplish his goals or the goals others have for him. An organizer in charge of a work may single out individuals whom he thinks are especially important to his goals and show them favoritism or partiality. If he is not in charge, he may cause disharmony by openly expressing frustration.
Using delegation to avoid work
When a person with the gift of organization is not in charge, it is easy for him to delegate his responsibilities to others. His work may be completed; however, he will miss the character training and other objectives which the one who assigned him the task had in mind. His authority and others may then react to him and accuse him of laziness and irresponsibility.
Being unresponsive to appeals
When an organizer is in charge of a project rejects valid suggestions or closes his ears to grievances, pressures result. These cause him to become harsh or even resign. When an organizer is not responsive to directions from his authorities, he must be disciplined. If he reacts, he will build patterns of resentment and pride.
Putting projects ahead of people
When an organizer reacts to people who do not have his spiritual gift, he is usually focusing only on their inefficiency and disorganization. By reacting, he overlooks their real needs and potential and damages important relationships and the potential ministry which God intended for him.
Overlooking workers’ serious faults
If an organizer is given a position of authority in the local church, he will appoint workers on the basis of their ability to get the job done. If serious character flaws are discovered in a valuable worker, the organizer will be reluctant to dismiss him. Failure to do so, however, will communicate approval and acceptance of the behavior and will cause reaction or imitation by others.
Failing to explain or praise
When an organizer is put in charge of several people to accomplish a job, he may tend to give instructions without explanation. This neglect causes fellow workers to feel like pawns in a chess game. Their feelings of being used are intensified if they are not given proper praise or appreciation when the work is done.
Forcing decisions on others
An organizer can misuse his special abilities of persuasion and decisiveness by coercing others to help him achieve personal ambitions. They can also be misused on legitimate jobs by insensitivity to the schedules, weariness, or personal priorities of his workers.
Losing interest in finished job
The fulfillment of an organizer is to see a job completed. However, before moving on to a new job he must make proper provision for maintenance of the completed job. When this trait is carried over into the personal life of an organizer, he is never content with the things that he has or that he has done.
Who in Scripture best illustrates the motivational gift of Prophecy?
What guidelines are given for the gift of prophecy in Romans 12:9?
* Love without hypocrisy
* Abhor (detest) evil
* Cling to good
What basic principle does the prophet most need to exercise?
* Clear Conscience
Why is this true?
* It allows the prophet to speak the truth with love.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PROPHET
Need to express themselves
Prophets need to express their thoughts and ideas verbally, especially when matters of right and wrong are involved. In the written account of the Gospels, Peter spoke more often than any other disciple. He also became the spokesman for the early Church. (See Acts 2:14; 3:12; 4:8; 11:4)
Quick impressions of people
Prophets tend to make quick judgments on what they see and hear. They also tend to express their views before others speak. In the Gospels, Peter spoke first more than any other disciple. (See Mathew 14:28; 15:15; 16:16; 16:33; 17:4; 19:27; John 6:38; 13:6)
Alertness to dishonesty
Prophets have an amazing ability to sense when someone or something is not what it appears to be. They react harshly to any form of deception or dishonesty. Peter must have sensed deception in Ananias and Sapphira since he was prompted to question them about it. His condemnation resulted in their deaths. (See Acts 5:3-10)
Desire for justice
Prophets tend to cut off those who sin so that justice will be done and others will be warned. Peter desired to cut off his offenders, and he asked Jesus how often he would have to forgive them. (See Matthew 18:21) A prophet knows that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump.”
Open about their own faults
Prophets are as open about their own failures as they want others to be about theirs. When Christ appeared to the disciples, Peter fell on his knees and said, “…Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8).
Once prophets are committed to a cause, they are wholeheartedly involved in it. Within the context of their commitment, they are quick to respond to situations and opportunities. When Peter recognized Jesus walking on the water, he asked Jesus to bid him to come. (See Matthew 14:28)
Loyalty to truth vs. people
Prophets are loyal to truth even if it means cutting off relationships. When Jesus asked the disciples if they were also going to leave Him, Peter replied that he would stay because Christ had the words of eternal life. (See John 6:67-69)
Willingness to suffer for right
Prophets are eager to suffer when it comes to standing for the truth or doing what is right. Peter rejoiced that he was counted worthy to suffer shame for Jesus when he was beaten for obeying God rather than men. (See Acts 5:29-42)
Persuasive in defining truth
Prophets have a special ability to be articulate in defining what is right and what is wrong. Great conviction was brought to thousands on the Day of Pentecost when Peter pointed out, “…Ye have taken [Jesus], and by wicked hands have crucified and slain [Him]” (Acts 2:23).
MISUSES OF THE GIFT
Exposing without restoring
A prophet’s primary concern about stopping the spread of evil tends to cause him to expose a sinner rather than restore him. In so doing, the prophet will fail a test of spirituality. (See Galatians 6:1) The prophet, however, believes that exposure of sin is the first step of restoration.
Jumping to conclusions
Prophets tend to draw conclusions from a few known facts. Once a hasty conclusion has been made, prophets tend to look for confirming evidence. This action can result in their taking words and actions of the accused out of context in order to prove their points.
Reacting harshly to sinners
When a prophet sees sin, he tends to denounce it so strongly that it appears to others as an “overkill.” After exposing the sin, the prophet tends to expect immediate repentance regardless of whether his rebuke was given in love or was even fully accurate. His motive in magnifying sin is to promote repentance.
It is very difficult for a prophet to make a separation between sin and the sinner. Therefore, he tends to reject them both with equal vigor. Those who hear his harshness interpret his denunciations as angry tirades. Peter’s epistles provide a balance of truth and love.
The harsh judgments which prophets have for others, they also have for themselves. They tend to be extremely self-critical and feel worthless when they fail. After Peter denied Jesus, the heavenly messenger knew his need for reassurance and said, “…Go…tell his disciples and Peter…” (Mark 16:7).
Because of his tendency to make quick decisions, a prophet can be very impulsive and can vacillate between extremes. At first Peter refused to allow Jesus to wash his feet; then he asked Jesus to wash his whole body. (See John 13:6-10)
Cutting off people who fail
Whenever prophets see or hear something that is wrong, they feel responsible to speak out against it. It does not occur to them to ask: “Whose responsibility is this? Do I have all the facts? Do I need to take action at this time?”
Lacking tactfulness in rebuke
Prophets tend to be painfully direct when correcting others, no matter who they are. This bluntness can cause the prophet embarrassment, as when Peter rebuked Jesus for telling the disciples of His death. (See Mark 8:31-32)
Dwelling on the negative
Prophets tend to divide everything into two classes–right or wrong. Once they label a person or activity, that judgment tends to be fixed in their minds, and they often feel compelled to persuade others to agree with them.
Who in Scripture best illustrates the motivational gift of giving?
What guidelines are given for the gift of giving in Romans 12:13?
* Giving to needs of Christians
* Practice hospitality
What basic principle does the giver most need to exercise?
Why is this true?
* It allows the giver the freedom to respond to God’s direction.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GIVER
Able to see resources
A giver has an ability to discern wise investments. His motivation is to use assets of time, money, and possessions to advance the work of the Lord. If a person with the gift of giving has limited funds, he is still able to use his ability of recognizing available resources and draw upon them when needed.
Invest self with gift
A giver needs continuous reassurance that his decisions are in God’s will whether he has little or much to give. To achieve this, he will first give himself and then his gift to the Lord. Since all believers must practice giving, Paul explained how the Macedonians “…first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God” (2 Corinthians 8:5).
Desire to give high quality
The giver’s ability to discern value motivates him to provide quality gifts. He wants them to last. Matthew recorded in greater detail than any other Gospel writer the gifts given to Christ. He is the only writer who mentioned “the treasures” brought by the Magi; he described Mary’s ointment as “very precious,” and Joseph’s tomb as “new.” (See Matthew 2:11; 26:6-11; and 27:57-60)
Hope gift answer prayer
A giver who is in fellowship with the Lord will be prompted to give even when a need is not obvious. His ultimate confirmation that his gift was according to God’s will comes when he learns that it fulfilled an unknown need or answered a special prayer.
Desire to give secretly
Just as the giver looks to the Lord for direction, so he wants recipients to look to the Lord for provision. The giver knows that future reward is more valuable than present praise, thus he will give quietly and often anonymously. Matthew is the only Gospel writer who emphasizes secret giving. (See Matthew 6:1-4)
Concern that giving will corrupt
A mature giver understands the destructiveness of the love of money. He is very aware that the disciples that God taught him in acquiring assets may not have been learned by those who need his assistance. Therefore, he looks for ways of giving which avoid dependency, slothfulness, or extravagance.
Exercise personal thriftiness
The personal assets which the giver has are often the result of consistent personal frugality while being content with basics. A giver will always be concerned in getting the best buy, not with how much he has left. He will spend extra effort in saving money and being merciful with what he has.
Use gifts to multiply giving
The motivation of a giver is to encourage others to give. He wants them to experience the joy
and spiritual growth that comes by sacrificial giving. Thus, the giver may provide matching funds or the last payment in order to encourage others to give.
Confirm amount with counsel
A giver reacts to pressure appeals. He looks instead for financial needs which others tend to overlook. A husband who has the gift of giving will often confirm the amount that he should give by seeing if his wife has the same amount in mind.
MISUSES OF THE GIFT
Hoarding resources for self
An effective use of the gift of giving depends upon having the fear of the Lord. One way we learn the fear of the Lord is by regular giving. It was for this purpose that the tithe was established. (See Deuteronomy 14:22-23) If a giver stops exercising his gift, he will not only begin to lose the fear of the Lord, but his storing up will cause him to become stagnant.
Using gift to control people
A giver has a desire to make sure that his gifts are wisely invested and used. Thus, he will often buy a good quality item rather than giving the money for it. However, if items are purchased or projects are sponsored by a giver, he may be viewed as using his gifts to control lives and ministries.
Forcing higher living standards
If a giver’s focus is more on the quality of the gift than the need that it is meeting, he can cause the receiver to be dissatisfied with the quality of other things which he owns. A giver could also excuse personal luxuries on the basis that he is generous with his money. However, when he is not faithful in little, God will not trust him with much.
Feeling guilty about personal assets
A giver who is not in fellowship with the Lord will begin to feel guilt as he stores up funds. Even if he is preparing for a special need, he must have the reassurance from the Lord that his plans are according to God’s will.
Rejecting pressure appeals
If a giver reacts to all appeals for funds and looks only for the hidden and unannounced needs, he may fail to get the mind of the Lord in a particular situation. He may also miss an important opportunity to give wise counsel as well as needed funds to a worthy ministry.
Giving too sparingly to family
The frugality of a giver is often extended to his own wife and children. However, if he does not show the same concern, care, and delight in meeting their needs as he does others, they will react to his generosity. By listening to the Lord and the counsel of his wife, he will avoid the damaging consequences of unwise gifts or investments.
Giving to projects vs. people
If a giver loses his focus on meeting the needs of people, he may be unduly attracted to projects. His desire for measuring value may prompt him to build a “memorial to his generosity.” The emphasis of Scriptural giving is distributing to the necessity of saints. Paul’s collection was for the needy Christians.
Causing people to look to him vs. God
When a giver lets others know what he is giving, he will cause many to turn their attention from the Lord to him. He also runs the danger of attracting carnal Christians with wrong motives. These people are trained to appeal to his human inclinations and extract funds which were not directed by the Lord.
Waiting too long to give
If a giver is not instantly obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, he may lose the joy of seeing God accomplish a miraculous provision through him. The one who was to receive the gift will also be denied the opportunity of seeing God provide funds precisely when needed.