Institute in Basic Life Principles

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How can I use questions to identify my spiritual gift?

Identify Your Basic Motivation
use questions to discover your motivational gift

Many Christians demonstrate Godly qualities that are associated with several different motivational gifts; thus, an individual may have difficulty identifying his or her motivational gift and may be confused by the fact that each believer is given a single motivational gift.

Asking questions about your foundational motive for doing things is helpful in identifying your motivational gift. The goal is to find out exactly why you gain satisfaction in doing something—what need you believe you are meeting by doing it. Even if you demonstrate the qualities of other motivational gifts, you still have one main drive that prompts all of your activities.

Start by discerning your basic motivation for an activity. Then ask why you are motivated in that way, why it is important to you. Keep asking why until you reach your foundational motive, what is truly most important to you. This motive will help you identify your motivational gift.

These questions can be asked about any activity, and in the example below, we’ve used the scenario of one who is teaching a Bible class.

  • Question: What is your basic motive for teaching the Bible class?
    Answer: To encourage people to know and obey the truth (a prophet’s motivation)
  • Question: But why do you want people to know and obey the truth?
    Answer: So that they will not hurt each other’s feelings (a mercy’s motivation)
  • 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)
  • Question: Why do you want Christians to grow spiritually?
    Answer: So that they can discern and appreciate the true message of the Bible (a teacher’s motivation)
  • 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 for God (an organizer’s motivation)
  • Question: Why do you want Christians to be organized for God?
    Answer: So that they will prosper and be better equipped to give to the Lord’s work (a giver’s motivation)
  • 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)
  • Question: Why do you want to meet the practical needs of others?
    Answer: I think that is the most important thing we need to do.

Conclusion: This individual’s motivational gift must be serving. Although he values the goals of the other spiritual gifts, deep down he wants to help meet practical needs. That is the most important thing he can do, and as he does it, he sees that he helps accomplish the goals of the other gifts (such as helping people grow spiritually, helping them understand truth, and helping them become organized).

You see, identifying your motivational gift (each believer has only one) does not limit your potential or your ministry in any way. In fact, the opposite is true.

Identifying your gift increases your potential to grow in Godly character as you recognize the strengths that “naturally” accompany your motivational gift, as well as the abilities that are reflected by each of the six other gifts. You will be free to use and develop your God-given abilities to their fullest extent, and you can be motivated to acquire the Godly character qualities demonstrated by the other spiritual gifts.

The articles on spiritual gifts have been developed from a variety of sources, including the booklet, Understanding Spiritual GiftsOffsite Link.

For Further Study

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