Understanding Your Motivational Gifts
Most entrepreneurs try to follow a formula for success. The problem is that if you don’t know or understand what you are gifted to do naturally, you may feel frustrated and lost - like you are going uphill in life.
You were endowed with your gifts, the things you are naturally good at, at the beginning of time. Your gifts point you to your purpose. And, your purpose is etched in your DNA.
When you know your gifts, you can build your life and your business around it. You will become who you were meant to be and you will naturally attract the people you are meant to serve.
Discovering your Motivational Gifts is just one part of discovering your God Given Genius, the full picture of who you are and what you were created to do.
What Are the Seven Motivational Gifts?
The gifts that Paul outlines in Romans 12:4-8 are referred to as the “motivational gifts” because they give us a reason to act. Our motivational gifts are the driving force behind our behaviors. They also give us a place in the “Body of Christ.”
Believers are called to be the Body of Christ on earth. The motivational gifts are distributed to different parts of the Body. For example, you may be strong in taking care of things and serving others, whereas your spouse might not even know where to begin with such things. However, he or she might be great at motivating and encouraging others to take action while you may never know what to say to encourage others.
Because each person has his or her own unique gifts and strengths relative to one another, we have to work together to accomplish things.
We need not only understand our gifts and how they can help us live out our purpose, but we are also called to understand the gifts of those around us so we can help each person reach his or her potential. We are to be stewards of the gifts we are given, using them to bless others.
In the passage below that outlines the motivational gifts, Paul speaks to the young Christian church, imploring its members to discover, develop, and use his or her gifts.
In Romans 12:4-8, Paul writes,
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts according to the grace given each of us.
If you gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, than serve; if it is teaching, then teach; and if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is to give, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
How Are Motivational Gifts Different from Spiritual Gifts?
There are three types of spiritual gifts outlined in the New Testament of the Bible. In addition to the Motivational Gifts, there are the Five Ministry Gifts found in Ephesians 4:11, and the Nine Manifestation Gifts, or Supernatural Gifts, of the Holy Spirit outlined in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.
Motivational Gifts are a type of spiritual gift. Spiritual gifts are blessings or abilities given by God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit to His children. By definition, a gift is something that is freely given. Merriam-Webster defines it as “something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation.”
God gives us the Motivational Gifts at birth to use them to benefit ourselves and others. Our gifts shape our personalities. Because God has created us with free will, we can choose to use our motivational gifts appropriately, or we can choose to neglect them or even to abuse them.
God loves us. He freely gives us abilities and talents that will help us live up to our potential and positively contribute to our communities. In our gifts he gives us our purpose, our reason to live.
The Ministry Gifts are gifts that Christ gives to people who are called and gifted to lead and train the rest of the Body of Christ. The Manifestation Gifts flow from the Holy Spirit.
At God Given Genius we focus on the Motivational Gifts because they are part of the foundation of who we are, and what we are born to do. Knowing the foundation of your motivational gifts enables you to build on strengths that you do naturally.
Finding Our Purpose In Our Gifts
In 1987, Don and Katie Fortune published Discover Your God-Given Gifts, a landmark book that outlined how to discover your motivational gifts and use them in life and business for the benefit of others. Over several decades of their research, they uncovered the percentage distribution of the seven motivational gifts for the U.S. population.
Below is the outline of the seven motivational gifts and typical characteristics that people display about each particular gift. It is important to note that each of us has all seven motivation gifts. The difference is that our top three gifts tend to show us why we do the things that we do and help point us towards how we should be living our lives.
The Seven Motivational Gifts
Perceivers - 12% of the population
One who is motivated to see the truth of God’s will revealed to all people.
Those who are strong in the perceiving motivation are able to envision what can and should be done and how to do it. They may seek out large crowds or audiences to share messages with as many people as possible. Perceivers give people the vision of what they can become. They tend to set long-term goals and are drawn to things that shed light on future events. They are steadfast and unwavering in their beliefs.
Here are other characteristics:
- Good speaker or performer
- Deep thinker
- High standards
Biblical examples include Simon Peter, Mary, Mother of God, and John the Baptist. Other Perceivers are the Prophets, including Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Jonah.
Servers - 17% of the population
One who is motivated to identify practical requirements and fulfill them.
Servers are excellent at organizing events, people and resources. They are reliable and supportive, standing behind established leadership and willing to help out where and when they can. They are group-oriented and like to see projects be accomplished.
The characteristics of Servers are as follows:
- Unlikely to procrastinate
- Prefer short term goals
Server biblical examples include Martha, Timothy, Stephen, and Jacob.
Teachers- 6% of the population
One who is motivated to research, understand, and impart knowledge so others can understand and apply it.
Teachers are another somewhat rare group. Teachers are truthful and accurate; they will call out dishonesty when they see it. They are detailed and are sensitive to the context of the information. They also notice discrepancies and errors in information and think through the facts before giving an opinion. Teachers are objective, thorough, and report facts in a systematic way.
- Logical thinkers
Biblical examples of teachers include Luke, Apollos, and Timothy.
Exhorter/Encouragers - 16% of the population
One who is motivated to participate in the process of self and others growing closer to God.
In Greek, “exhorting” means “to hear”, “to call near”, to “entreat, encourage, or comfort.” An exhorter is one who is motivated to participate in the process of self and others growing closer to God, to encourage, strengthen, and inspire others to be their best. These people help others understand and learn that God is love and that He wants to grow close to His children. They have the ability to outline what they believe in their business or work and then are able to see what the vision should be. Exhorters are able to assess what the baseline is and what progress is realistic when it comes to projects. They love to help people reach their goals.
As peacemakers, they are able to confront problems and issues while finding common ground. They are non-judgemental and comfortable with people from all walks of life. They also see people through God’s eyes and desire to help people be their best. Exhorters read and approach the bible with practical desires and aim to understand how it is useful for their life. Some other characteristics of Exhorters include:
- Enjoy discussion and brainstorming
- Encourages people to move towards their goals/vision
- Understands the big picture and how to get it accomplished
- Communicator, storyteller
- Loves to see growth
- Desires to bring people together
Biblical Examples of Exhorters include Paul, Timothy, Barnabas, and Aaron.
Givers - 6% of the population
One who is motivated to give generously to share what God has given, and to further the work of God
One of the more rare top gifts, Givers enjoy giving out of desire, not obligation. They get excited about seeing other people receive. Givers tend to give anonymously and give gifts of high quality and craftsmanship. They also have the ability to recognize when it is appropriate to give. Givers view hospitality as an opportunity to give. They are good at making money and they don’t waste it.
- Generous with time, money, and love
- Quick to volunteer
- Not gullible
Biblical Examples of GIvers include Abraham, Matthew, Cornelius, and Zacchaeus.
Leaders/Administrators - 13% of the population
One who is motivated to work with people and resources to govern and oversee others so that the group moves forward.
Leaders are often future-focused and see the big picture. They set long-term goals and are innovative, creative problem solvers. They are determined to find solutions and do not give up easily. They lead people and teams by motivating them, providing encouragement, and praising them for their achievements and hard work. They are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and jump in to help whenever and wherever assistance is required.
- Generous with praise
- Role model
- Willing to jump in and help
Biblical Examples of Leaders include Joseph, David, and Nehemiah.
Compassion/Mercy - 30% of the population
One who is motivated to identify with the emotions of others and demonstrate God’s love.
Sometimes referred to as those who are merciful, compassionate people are hopeful and look for the good in people. Those who are compassionate are able to empathize with, cheer, and show compassion to those who hurt. They can sense the undercurrents of situations and have the ability to adjust and respond to others’ moods.
Some characteristics of those who are compassionate include:
- Participate in others’ joys and sorrows
- Gentle in general, but can be firm when necessary
- Discerning; know when people are insincere
Biblical examples of those who are compassionate in the bible include John the apostle, Ruth, the Good Samaritan, and the prophet Jeremiah (often called the 'weeping' prophet).
As we shared before, you have each one of these gifts in you, however, you may be stronger in some and weaker in other gifts. It’s important to identify your top three gifts so you can see where your strength lies.
To find your purpose and live the life that God intended for you, you have to know and understand not only your gift, but the gifts of others as well.
Understanding Others’ Gifts in the Body of Christ
We were not created to do everything. We were created to do what we are gifted to do and then work in community (as the early Christians did) based on different gifts and strengths.
Individuals that make up the Body of Christ are not all the same. Just as the body has separate parts that make up a whole, believers have different roles to play in building God’s Kingdom here on earth. The Body of Christ needs people with different motivational gifts to properly function. We have to have unity through diversity.
In their work, the Fortunes’ also took Paul’s analogy of the body in Romans 12 and outlined how each gift corresponds to a part of the physical body. You can see the relationship below.
As a community, we are more productive, we get more done. Where one person is weak, another is strong. Likewise, if different people naturally focus on meeting different needs in the Body of Christ, there will be nothing lacking. All needs will be met. We were created this way for a reason. God wants us to depend on one another and work together in all things.
Mathematically, one plus one equals two. But our impact can be much greater than two when we bring people together with different strengths and areas of focus. People are more productive, ideas are discussed, problems are solved. This produces better ideas with better results.
It is vitally important to recognize the value of community and teamwork in work and in your personal life.
Want to learn how to discover your gifts? Check out this blog post, How to Find Your Motivational Gifts.
If you want to discover your God Given Genius and start building your life and business around your gifts, start by taking the 7MG Assessment or contact us.
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