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What is the spiritual gift of giving?

Understanding the spiritual gift of giving

2 min

A Christian’s motivational spiritual gift represents what God does in him to shape his perspective on life and motivate his words and actions. Romans 12:3–8 describes “basic motivations,” which are characterized by inherent qualities or abilities within a believer—the Creator’s unique workmanship in him or her.

Through the motivational gifts, God makes believers aware of needs that He wants to meet through them, for His glory. Then, believers can minister to others through the ministry and manifestation gifts of the Spirit, in ways beyond mere human capability and ingenuity, with maximum effectiveness and minimum weariness.

Each person’s behavior will vary according to factors such as temperament, background, age, gender, culture, and circumstances. However, it is not unusual for individuals who share the same motivational gift to demonstrate common characteristics. Below are some general characteristics that are typically exhibited by those who have the motivational gift of giving.

General Characteristics

A giver’s basic motivational drive is to conserve and share resources in order to meet needs. Givers take special delight in discovering needs that others overlook and then meeting those needs.

  • Givers particularly enjoy preventing waste by exercising wisdom and accountability.
  • A giver gets joy by finding less costly ways to do things, whether the cost is measured in time, money, or energy.
  • Their families often think givers are very stingy—much too concerned about counting pennies—but the people to whom they give think they are extremely generous.
  • Givers like to stay out of the limelight, often giving anonymously in order to avoid recognition for their giving.
  • Givers evaluate spirituality in terms of resources, accountability, and dependability.
  • Saving resources brings a giver almost as much pleasure as giving them, because they regard saving as the key that opens the door to even more resources. They seem to be able to accumulate savings, even in hard times.

A Giver’s Strengths

  • A giver saves money by making wise purchases. He also tends to avoid impulsive spending.
  • Givers tend to have an excellent understanding of authority and accountability. More than those with other motivational gifts, givers expect to be held accountable and diligently hold others accountable.
  • They usually are hard workers and tend to have conservative values.
  • Givers often like to become personally involved in the lives of the people to whom they give support.
  • Regardless of his economic status, a giver hardly ever spends more than he makes. Consequently, he rarely incurs debt.
  • Givers love to motivate others to save and to give generously.

A Giver’s Weaknesses

  • Sometimes their efforts to conserve resources can turn into being “plain cheap.”
  • Givers can react negatively to pressure to give, assuming that others can and should meet a need, since the need is well publicized.
  • If a giver has been offended or has lost confidence in a person or a ministry, he may allow his feelings to interfere with God-given opportunities to give.
  • A giver can easily be tempted to judge a person or ministry based on a single incident that appears to reflect poor stewardship or lack of accountability, rather than taking the steps necessary to get an accurate account of the situation.
  • Just as is true of any other spiritual gift, if a giver becomes too focused on issues he sees as priorities, his perspective will reflect “tunnel vision” instead of wise understanding. For a giver, this would often involve placing too much attention on getting the best deal rather than the final goal, whatever that would be.
Explore more about this topic in Understanding Spiritual Gifts

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