Should a Christian’s behavior reflect the characteristics of all spiritual gifts?
The ultimate expression of every spiritual gift is personified in Jesus Christ. The more we become like Him, the more we will demonstrate the qualities of each motivational gift in a balanced manner, even though we will act from the basic motivation of a single gift.
In Scripture, believers are commanded to behave in ways that reflect all seven motivational gifts, regardless of what a person’s particular motivational gift is. For example, we do not all have the gift of mercy, but we are all to be merciful. We do not all have the gift of prophecy, but we are all to honor the truth of God’s Word and apply it to our lives.
The Scriptures below showcase the strengths of each of the seven motivational gifts, yet they are instructions given to every Christian as we “grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever” (II Peter 3:18).
Proclaim Truth to Others (Prophecy)
- “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. . . . He that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort” (I Corinthians 14:1, 3).
- “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (II Timothy 4:2).
Serve Others (Serving)
- “Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).
- “ . . . Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
- “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23–24).
Instruct Others (Teaching)
- “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).
- “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28: 19–20).
Exhort Others (Exhorting)
- “Exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).
- “Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24–25).
Share With Others (Giving)
- “Freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).
- “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).
- “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love . . . distributing to the necessity of the saints” (Romans 12:10, 13).
Organize Others (Organizing)
- “Let all things be done decently and in order” (I Corinthians 14:40).
- “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17).
- “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation” (Hebrews 13:7).
- “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute” (Proverbs 12:24).
Show Mercy to Others (Mercy)
- “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
- “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
- “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another . . . . And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness” (Colossians 3:12–14).
These activities should be part of every Christian’s life. We have the potential to be especially productive in the areas of our spiritual gifts, but that does not negate God’s instructions to honor Him in other areas as well.
In his letter to the believers in Ephesus, the Apostle Paul wrote, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3).