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What is your motivational spiritual gift?

Identify Your Motivational Spiritual Gift
determine which characteristics represent you

As a believer, you have been given a motivational spiritual gift. God wants you to discern which motivational gift He has assigned to you, and He wants you to use that gift for His glory. Scripture gives us this instruction:

As every man hath received the gift [charisma], even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen (I Peter 4:10–11).

If you are uncertain about what your motivational gift is, the following information could help you discern your gift. Below are listed characteristics that represent each of the seven motivational gifts. Take time to read through the lists and determine which one best represents you. You’ll probably identify with several characteristics in each list, but usually one list stands out above the rest as being most like you. At the conclusion, you’ll find out which gift corresponds to the list with which you identify.

It is possible that you will identify strongly with more than one list. That’s okay too! Take time to learn about the gifts that are highlighted by this activity. As you gain knowledge and insight about spiritual gifts, eventually you will be able to discern which one is yours. It may be a quick discovery, or it may take a while, but God will show you what your motivational gift is, because He wants you to enjoy using it to serve Him.

Ask the Lord to give you sensitivity to His Spirit as you consider each descriptive statement below. Keep in mind that this is not a test; there are no right and wrong answers. The characteristics listed below are not absolutes; they represent general observations about people who have a certain motivational gift.

Person Number One

  • Making sure that statements are totally accurate and true is important to you.
  • You really love to learn and want to gain as much knowledge as you can.
  • You react negatively to people who make unfounded statements.
  • You tend to check the credentials of your instructors and teachers.
  • When made aware of a debated issue, you tend to react by mentally analyzing the facts and drawing conclusions of your own, based on hard facts.
  • Doing research is enjoyable to you.
  • When asked to explain something, you tend to give more explanation than is necessary.
  • You are attentive to details.
  • You tend to be silent about matters until you have searched diligently for pertinent information and gathered the facts.
  • You have good study habits and research skills.
  • You prefer to solve a problem by studying it thoroughly rather than brainstorming about possible solutions or “jumping in” to fix the problem.
  • You take particular delight in uncovering facts or details that have been overlooked by others.
  • Others would describe you as a sincere and steadfast person.
  • You would rather learn how to do something than actually do it.
  • Most of your close acquaintances would say you tend not to be enthusiastic about most things.

Person Number Two

  • You can confidently visualize a final, completed task before even the initial steps have been taken.
  • You enjoy coordinating the efforts of a team to reach a common goal.
  • You find it a simple task to break down a significant assignment into achievable goals and responsibilities.
  • You are able to delegate assignments to others well.
  • You see people as resources that can be used to get a job done efficiently.
  • You are quite willing to endure resistance or criticism in order to accomplish a task.
  • As a leader, you expect and require loyalty from those under your supervision.
  • You tend to “rise above” petty issues to focus on reaching the final goal.
  • You are good at encouraging your team members and inspiring them to action.
  • Once a project is completed, you don’t waste any time moving on to a new project. In fact, before the initial project is completed, you often are visualizing the next mountain that needs to be conquered.
  • When made aware of a need, you tend to analyze it rather than jumping right in and starting to work on it.
  • You tend to evaluate accomplishment on the basis of doing the best job with the fewest resources in the shortest amount of time.
  • Although not opposed to expressing emotion, you tend to regard emotional expressions—positive or negative—as a waste of time.
  • You usually make decisions based on what is best for the sake of a project, not on what is most convenient or enjoyable for the laborers.
  • Because of your focus on the tasks at hand, sometimes others think you are uninterested or aloof.

Person Number Three

  • You judge most actions as being either right or wrong—black or white, not gray.
  • You tend to react strongly to people who are not what they appear to be.
  • You especially enjoy people who are willing to be completely honest with you—even if the truth hurts.
  • Before you sell an item in your garage sale, you would like to explain to the potential buyer exactly what is wrong with that item or why you don’t want to keep it.
  • When you observe someone doing wrong, you feel it’s your responsibility to correct that person or bring it to the attention of his authority.
  • You can quickly discern the true character of an individual, even when he tries hard to conceal his poor character or the wicked motives of his heart.
  • You separate yourself from those who refuse to repent of evil.
  • You are not hesitant to share your opinion, especially if you think obvious wickedness has been overlooked or ignored.
  • When you fail, you are quick to judge yourself.
  • Your employees who have bad attitudes are sources of irritation to you.
  • In your opinion, compromise is never the best solution.
  • When you observe or discern sin, to say nothing about it is, of itself, sinful.
  • It is not difficult for you to accept absolutes.
  • You are not easily swayed by emotions—your own or those of others—when a decision has to be made.
  • You have a deep capacity to trust God.
  • Sometimes others tell you to “cheer up and look on the bright side” because you tend to look on the not-so-bright side of things.
  • You are committed to doing what is right and true, even if it means that you must suffer for it.

Person Number Four

  • When you observe insensitivity or harshness in others, you tend to respond with anger toward the harsh or insensitive person.
  • You are sensitive to the hurts of others, even when they do not express that hurt verbally or directly.
  • When others express genuine love, your heart responds with joy and gratitude.
  • If given a choice, you would prefer to have a few close friendships rather than a great number of shallow relationships.
  • People who have problems seem to seek you out, so that they can tell you about their woes.
  • Being firm with individuals who need to be corrected or exhorted is something you tend to avoid.
  • It is difficult for you to be decisive in some circumstances.
  • You need quality time to explain how you feel about things.
  • When you see someone who is hurting—physically or emotionally—you want to offer help and remove the source of the pain.
  • You want to remove people who inflict hurt on others.
  • You often wonder why God allows people to suffer.
  • If a close friend or family member is offended, you find yourself being tempted to take up that offense too.
  • You tend to cry easily when you see or hear something sad or touching.
  • You sincerely and enthusiastically rejoice with those who rejoice!
  • You enjoy being needed by others.
  • You do not judge sin lightly—your own or anyone else’s.
  • You desire to pray faithfully and fervently.
  • Sometimes the people you’re with don’t understand why you seem to be drawn to “down-and-outers,” individuals whom others usually try to avoid altogether.

Person Number Five

  • When you meet someone, you tend to visualize his or her potential.
  • You like to give counsel to others.
  • You can usually discern a believer’s level of spiritual maturity pretty easily.
  • Because you enjoy helping people grow spiritually, you like to encourage them by proposing projects for them to carry out, which you hope will result in spiritual growth.
  • You motivate people to become what you “see” they could become.
  • Sometimes you unintentionally make others think they will see results a lot faster than they actually will see those results, especially in relation to spiritual growth.
  • You don’t see much use for teaching that doesn’t give practical instruction.
  • When you counsel others, you prefer to observe their facial responses rather than to correspond with them remotely, such as with a letter.
  • If someone comes to you with a need for counsel, you quickly make yourself available to him or her, even if it means sacrificing family time or other activities you had planned to do.
  • It gives you special delight to relate examples of success or to use illustrations of failure as effective teaching tools.
  • Finishing a project is not nearly as exciting as starting a project.
  • You tend to identify with people “where they are” in order to counsel them effectively.
  • Enthusiasm is something that you tend to exhibit regularly.
  • Your confidence in the loving sovereignty of God tends to make you a hopeful, positive person.
  • You see trials as opportunities to grow spiritually rather than as reasons to despair.
  • As you study God’s Word, you often discern principles and patterns that should be followed.
  • When someone is facing a hard situation, you are eager to support and encourage him, to come alongside him as needed.
  • In your eagerness to bless someone with encouragement, sometimes you find yourself oversimplifying a solution in order to help the needy person get over his or her reluctance to embrace your counsel and give it a try.

Person Number Six

  • When others have practical needs, you tend to notice them before everyone else does.
  • It gives you pleasure to help others, especially if your assistance with a practical need will free him or her to carry out more important responsibilities.
  • You are willing to neglect your own work in order to help others.
  • As a particularly diligent person, sometimes you foolishly go beyond your physical limits and suffer for it.
  • You seem to have a special ability to remember what people like and dislike, and you enjoy using this knowledge to bless them.
  • You wonder why other people don’t respond to needs that are so obvious to you.
  • To get a job done, you are willing not only to invest your time and energy, but you are often willing to invest your resources as well.
  • It’s hard for you to say no when someone asks you for help.
  • You enjoy putting “extra touches” on things you do for others.
  • You are dependable and hardworking.
  • You don’t mind doing a job by yourself, but a slothful person disgusts you.
  • You don’t seek out public recognition for your efforts, but you do enjoy being appreciated.
  • You’d rather get busy than stand around talking about it.
  • Sometimes time limits frustrate you.
  • You’d much rather do a job yourself than delegate it to an unreliable helper.
  • When volunteers are requested, you find yourself being one of the first to raise your hand.

Person Number Seven

  • When you learn about a Godly ministry, you find yourself wanting to contribute to that ministry.
  • You tend to stay out of the limelight.
  • You are frugal, especially with your own resources.
  • You have an uncanny ability to recognize opportunities to make money.
  • When you give monetary gifts to others, you prefer to do so in secret rather than overtly.
  • When you hear pressure appeals for money, you tend to react negatively.
  • You want your gifts (time, money, resources, energy) to encourage others to give.
  • You expect others, especially those in authority, to be frugal and accountable for all decisions, especially financial decisions.
  • When you become aware of a need that others have overlooked or ignored, it gives you delight to help meet that need.
  • You’d rather pay a little more to get excellent quality than save a small percentage and get the cheap version.
  • Learning that your gift was an answer to prayer gives you particular satisfaction and joy.
  • You rarely, if ever, incur debt, even in tough times.
  • You tend to evaluate spirituality in terms of resources, accountability, and dependability.
  • Saving money gives you almost as much pleasure as making money!
  • When you give to a family, an individual, or a ministry, you frequently enjoy getting more personally involved with that family, individual, or ministry if the opportunity to do so arises.
  • Sometimes others accuse you of being too focused on getting the best deal and taking too long to do that.
  • Sometimes others accuse you of been stingy.

Which One Best Describes You?

Discerning which person above best describes you will help you identify your motivational gift. If you are most like:

  • Person Number One, you probably have the motivational gift of teaching.
  • Person Number Two, you probably have the motivational gift of organizing.
  • Person Number Three, you probably have the motivational gift of prophecy.
  • Person Number Four, you probably have the motivational gift of mercy.
  • Person Number Five, you probably have the motivational gift of exhortation.
  • Person Number Six, you probably have the motivational gift of serving.
  • Person Number Seven, you probably have the motivational gift of giving.

Click on the links above to learn more about each spiritual gift. Remember, you are needed in the Body of Christ—you and all of the special abilities that accompany the gift God chose to give you. We are excited for you as you make this discovery!

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

For Further Study

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