Lesson #1 – Why Are the Gifts Important?
Every human being is born with the motivation to give love to others. We can learn at a very early age what our motivational gift is by examining our God-given character traits.
When we understand why we do what we do, we can accept our strengths and develop our weaknesses so we can indeed give God’s love to those who need it.
Motivational Gifts Recap
Let’s Recap the Beginner’s Guide
In the beginner’s Guide that you should have received by now we learned that there are 3 types of gifts that God gives to the church and to humanity:
1. Ministry Gifts—in Ephesians 4:10-16 there are 5 offices in the church given to bring the believers to maturity in Christ.
2. The Spiritual or (Manifestation) gifts are found in I Corinthians 12:4-11 and 27-31 and are given to believers at the will of the Holy Spirit to, 1) prove to unbelievers the existence of God, and 2) to those who are new to faith to help them learn to trust God and grow in faith.
3. Motivational Gifts—which is what Anna’s Friends is all about—are found in the book of Romans 12:1-8 and given to all humans at birth. These gifts are multi-purposed: 1) to move humanity forward in faith; 2) to bring us to wholeness; 3) to support one another’s journey; 4) to help us interact with others in peace and harmony. They are the unction within each of us that motivates us to express love to others.
In essence, we exercise our motivation through our ministry (work or profession), and the Holy Spirit determines the specific manifestation of God’s presence that will be needed to benefit the receiver the most.
What are the 7 Motivational Gifts?
The Seven Motivational Gifts
We learned that there are 7 motivational gifts:
1. Exhortation (encouragement)
2. Facilitation (administration and leadership support)
4. Showing Mercy
6. Serving (helping others)
Now let’s look closer at what these gifts are meant to be used for.
Let’s Have a Picnic!
Remember the backyard party in the Beginner’s Guide?
Imagine this: In the picnic scenario, when the person dropped their plate on the ground there was most likely food everywhere. Some food may have fallen on someone’s shoes, or clothing. Some of it may have been hot. Some of it may have been wet.
The picnic may be inside in a gym or other room with a hard floor, so someone could potentially slip if the food is not quickly cleaned up. And of course, the incident slowed the line causing a host of hungry attendees to get a bit grumpy.
The person who dropped the plate was most likely embarrassed beyond the norm, feeling the responses of everyone around them. People were probably staring, some even snickering, some empathizing, some continuing to eat without any emotion.
In other words, there are several aspects of this one incident that need attention.
Let’s see why there are generally 7 different responses to various life circumstances like this one.
7 Different Responses to Spilled Food
The person with the motivational gift of exhortation is moved to encourage people so they will develop a trust in God; that everything will be okay and that they can trust Him in all aspects of their life, no matter the circumstance or situation they may find themselves.
An exhorter is quickly motivated to encourage the person who dropped their plate, and at the same time, thinking of a way to make the best of the situation to ensure a sense of good will come from it. That’s why they respond with, “Maybe next time let’s not get dessert with the meal.” He (or she) wants to encourage and edify the person who dropped the plate.
Have you ever seen someone who can go into a messy office and within a very short period of time have it completely organized? This is the one with the motivational gift of facilitation. They like order, they like to organize. They have a canny ability to know what gifts others have and are able to delegate tasks to them accordingly. It’s the same at the picnic.
If you have a motivation to bring or restore order, you quickly begin to delegate tasks to others to bring a quick resolution to the incident. “Don, get the mop, Sally, help pick up the food, Elizabeth, will you fix her another plate?”
This gift is not all about money. Meeting practical needs of others is the driving motivation for those with the gift of giving. These people are very supportive friends and will stick with you through thick and thin. These are the ones who want to make sure everyone has shoes on their feet, a coat on their back when it’s cold, and a roof over their head to escape the elements of inclement weather. These will give the proverbial “shirt of their backs” if it means someone else will have one to wear.
The giver in the picnic scene is motivated to give what he or she has for the purpose of fixing the matter. They quickly tell the person who dropped the plate, “Here, you can have my plate and I’ll go fix another one.”
Mercy is a healing gift. These individuals are motivated with a deep sense of empathy for others and can often feel their inner pain, heartache, or in this case, their embarrassment. They will do what it takes to support someone during those times of struggle and testing and will put themselves in their shoes.
This person will instinctively and without thought offer comfort and tell the person who dropped the plate, “Don’t feel bad. It could have happened to anyone of us.” Mercy children are especially attuned to the feelings of others and rush to relieve the root cause of their inner pain or turmoil.
People with the motivational gift of prophecy are always cognizant of what glorifies God. Children instinctively know right and wrong. They are always looking for ways to instruct others to “do the right thing”.
In the case of the dropped plate, this child might cross their arms and say, “You need to be more careful. That’s what happens when you don’t pay attention.” The character traits of this child are generally easy to spot, but often misunderstood.
The child with the motivation to serve is always looking for ways to do just that. They will help out anyone, anywhere, anytime, and give no thought for having to be asked first. These are the ones who love to help mom and dad around the house.
When the plate drops to the ground, this person will bend down to help first, then say, “Let me help you clean it up.” They get great joy from helping and need no praise for doing so. However, they do like to be appreciated for what they do and may become sad if they are not thanked (privately) for what they do. They do not like public recognition.
The last of the seven motivational gifts is teaching. The person with this gift is motivated to learn and then share what they learn with others. They will read a book before playing with their friends even on a sunny summer day. They are all about telling truth and are quick to correct others if they are in error.
This child may not bend down to help or even go and get more food. They will however, be quick to let the one who dropped the plate know, “The reason that fell is that the paper plates are not strong enough to hold the food.” They are always looking for ways to share their knowledge.