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Romans 14:17

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View January 2011 Issue >>

Motivatioal Gifts: Prophetic Gifting

Over the last few issues we have been looking at the various Motivational Gifts. This next article focuses on the gifts of exhortation and giving. Please read Romans 12:6-8 for reference.

Exhortation (Encourager)

This is a strong life-related gift, which draws on experience. Unlike the teacher, truth is truth for the exhorter, whether it comes from the Bible or from experience. In fact, the exhorter needs to confirm the truth of Scripture from practical experience. When exhorters speak, they need the full interest and attention of every listener, as the person of their gift. It is the gift of encouragement to personal progress. Biblical Example: Barnabas (Acts 4:36, 11:22-26)


a)    They love people. They love to see people growing and maturing
b)    They visualise specific achievements, and prescribe sets of action. They see the answer to the problem and then set the steps into action in order to get there
c)    They are grieved with teaching which is not practical
d)    They have an ability to see how trials can produce new levels of maturity
e)    They want to see visible acceptance when they talk to people. They want to see that the people understand what they are saying, and that they have received it and will put it into practice
f)    They teach from human experience
g)   They enjoy seeing people take steps of action. They are inclined to become frustrated when people don’t follow through in taking steps to solve their problem
h)    They take delight in personal conferences/counselling that produces new insights
i)    They are fluent in communication
j)    They are loved because of their positive attitude.

a)    Their emphasis on steps of action may seem to oversimplify the problem
b)    Their desire to win non-Christians by example (e.g. family and friends) may appear to be a lack of interest in personal evangelism
c)    Their use of Scripture for practical application may be taken out of context
d)    Their emphasis on steps of action may seem to show a disregard for the feelings of the person being counselled.

How their counsel will help you
Their counsel will help you to pinpoint causes of problems and take steps towards a solution of those problems.

The gift of giving can be seen as the gift of ‘special sharing’. The real motivation behind givers is the Following on from the introductory article on the Motivational Gifts in the December issue, it is important for us to realise that God’s gifts are placed in the Church to equip and empower us all to minister to people in need. Not every believer will have the same gift..

God, in His wisdom, dispenses the gift as He chooses; most of us have a primary and a secondary gift. We all need to allow God to use us in varying degrees and to work on our ‘weaker’ giftings. Also be careful not to ‘lock onto’ one gift or to ‘label’ yourself with a gift. Many Christians have misunderstood the work of these gifts and adopted attributes of ‘that is not my gift’ or ‘that is not my ministry’ when a need has arisen which demands love and effort from them.

There are 7 basic motivations
1. Prophecy (Declaring truth)
2. Serving
3. Teaching
4. Exhorting
5. Giving
6. Ruling
7. Mercy (Empathising)

Character, integrity, maturity
We are not to seek ‘signs and wonders’ but to concentrate on our motivational gift and the most effective ministry of expressing it. A gift exercised without spiritual character is worthless. We need to walk uprightly before the Lord and His people, so that we may glorify Him though our testimony and reach others through the gifts God has given us. “But pursue love, have a zeal for the spiritual gifts..” 1 Cor 14:1. 

The purpose of the gifts

Further details and insight about the motivational gifts can be found in 1 Corinthians 12. We will look in the next few issues of JOY! over the seven motivational gifts and explore the strengths and weaknesses of each. Hopefully in doing this, you will not only realise your giftings, but also exercise more tolerance and grace toward believers with other giftings (whom you previously did not understand).

1. Prophecy: insight/truth telling

People with this gift have more intuitive sense about where people really are in God. They are able to discern the inner attitudes and motives of people in a way that others are not. The basic tendency of this gifting is to view any person, group or situation in light of their life before God.

A Biblical example: John the Baptist (Matt 21:32, Luke 3:2-20, 7:18-29) is a good example of a prophetically motivated person. He told Herod that he was living in sin. Herod’s lover was very unimpressed by this and when she became queen, she devised a treacherous plan and had John murdered. People don’t always like it when a prophetically motivated person tells the truth. Often prophetically gifted people are perceived as harsh, straight forward or even judgemental.


• They feel a need to express their message verbally; a need to ‘speak out’
• They have the ability to discern the character and motives of people (2 Peter 2:1-3)
• Have the capacity to identify, define and hate evil; a holy anger (Rom 12:9; 1 Tim 3:7)
• They are willing to experience brokenness in order to prompt brokenness in others - to stand in the gap (John 20:21)
• They are dependent on Scriptural truth to validate this authority
• They have a desire for outward evidence to demonstrate inward conviction (1 Cor 14:25). They, for example, want outward evidence of change in people
• They have a directness, frankness and persuasiveness in speaking (Titus 2:8)
• They are concerned for the reputation and programme of God. If God’s Name is going to be defiled by someone’s actions, they will speak out against these actions. God calls us to be ambassadors. Prophetically motivated people expect us to act as such
• They experience an inward weeping and personal identification with the sins of those they speak to. They feel the pain for the sins of others
• They want people to point out their blind spots. Because they speak out directly, individuals with a prophetic motivation expect others to tell them directly what their weaknesses are
• Often they are called to intercede for which God shows them.

Misunderstandings of a Prophetic person
• Their frankness may be viewed as harshness. They must learn to speak the truth in love
• Because they are so focused on the programme of God, their interest in groups may be misinterpreted as a lack of interest in individuals
• Their focus on right and wrong may be judged as intolerance of only partial good. With them there is no grey area – only right and wrong
• Their strong desire to convey truth may be misinterpreted as indicating/showing little interest in listening to another person’s point of view
• Their emphasis on strict standards and public boldness can make it difficult for them to have close friends. Their frankness and directness may alienate people from them.

How their counsel will help you
Their counsel will help to keep you pure and will reveal motives and actions which are not Godly.pport of others. One always feels the strong support flowing out of this gift. People who have a strong giving motivation are not gullible – they have insight regarding when and whom to help.

This gift is not restricted to the wealthy: finance is only one concrete expression of this gift. A Biblical example would be Abraham (Gen 12-14) who was prepared to give his son, and also his land to Lot. A perfect example – God gave His son (John 3:16)


a)    They have an ability to make money. They also know how to use their money to make wise purchases and sound investments
b)    They desire to give to ministries to meet their need (sometimes beyond the local Body). They will be obedient in their own church, but they enjoy giving to the wider Body
c)    They like to motivate others to give
d)    They want to meet needs that others overlook
e)    They enjoy meeting needs without pressure
f)    They experience joy when their gift is an answer to specific prayer
g)    They are concerned that their gift should be of high quality
h)    They have a desire to feel a part of the work or person to whom they give. They like to feel involved, and that they are co-labouring in some way
i)    If married, they depend on their partner’s counsel to confirm the  amount of the gift
j)    They will intercede for needs and for the salvation of souls
k)    They see hospitality as an opportunity to give.

a)    They need to deal with large sums of money and may therefore appear carnal
b)    Their desire to increase the effectiveness of a ministry by their gift may appear to be an attempt to control the work or person. They may be big givers in the church, and sometimes they may be viewed by the rest of the church Body as trying to manipulate the work of God. This is not true! Their giving is their gifting and involvement – the way in which they co-labour in the Body
c)    Their attempt to encourage others to give may appear as stinginess (‘you give!’)
d)   Their lack of response to pressure appeals may appear to be stinginess. They respond when they see a genuine need
e)   If they live a frugal personal life, they can appear to friends and relatives as selfish in not meeting their wants. Their family often suffers because they pour their finance elsewhere. As a giver, you must remember that your family comes first, but the family must also recognise and understand where this gifting comes from.

How their counsel will help you
Their counsel will help you to reveal the unwise use of assets, (e.g. with budgeting, financing, etc.) and encourage you to give liberally to God’s work.

See next month's issue for the follow-up article in the Motivational Gifts series.

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