The Blessed Life: The Gift of Giving

The Blessed Life: The Gift of Giving

Many people are surprised to discover that there is a spiritual gift of giving that is every bit as valid as the gifts of prophecy and teaching.

We tend to hear and read a lot about various spiritual gifts. But for some reason, we hear very little about the gift of giving. The fact is, it is mentioned prominently in Romans 12: 

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness (vv. 6–8, emphasis added).

This passage outlines seven motivational gifts. They are often called motivational gifts because they tend to identify what most motivates the one who has the gift. I believe every Christian has one of these as his or her primary gifting. Of course, a fully functioningSpirit-filled Christian should have all of these gifts in operation to various degrees. Jesus walked in all of the gifts in full measure.

We, on the other hand, might have two or three of these gifts that are very prevalent in our lives, but one in particular will be the main motivating gift for us. That’s why it takes all of us working together to comprise the body of Christ. 

These are the seven motivational gifts of the Spirit. Here’s a quick definition of each of these:

Prophecy—reveals the motives of man and seeks conformity to God’s Word and ways.
Ministry (or serving)—meets needs on a practical basis. 
Teaching—searches out and presents Scriptural truths. 
Exhortation—admonishes or encourages others. 
Giving—meets material needs, often through finances. 
Leading (or administration)—organizes and leads. 
Mercy—empathizes and shows compassion to others.

Many people are also unaware of the verses that immediately follow the ones we just read. Romans 12:9–15 provides information that correlates with each gift. For example, verse 9 speaks to those with the gift of prophecy: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” That is what someone with the motivation of prophecy does; they abhor things that are evil, and they cling to what is good. But the admonition to them from Scripture is to “let love be without hypocrisy.” In other words, love everyone—the good and the bad.

Verse 10 provides encouragement for those with the gift of serving: “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” That’s a great description of someone who serves with excellence. 

Verse 11 correlates with the gift of teaching: “Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Teachers tend to be very diligent, but their admonition from Scripture is to be fervent when they teach the truths that the Lord has given them from the Scriptures.

The next verse, verse 12, offers instruction for those with the gift of exhortation: “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.” People who are exhorters know how to rejoice, but they also know how to be patient with people. They are also wonderful intercessors—praying for people in need.

And in verse 13, we find the job description of someone with the gift of giving: “Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” The people I know who function in the gift of giving truly love to distribute to the needs of the saints. They are also very hospitable.

Verse 14 correlates with leading or administrating. It says, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” This is certainly something that those in places of authority must do all the time. People who lead are no strangers to having people speak against them.

Finally, verse 15 correlates with the gift of mercy: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” You don’t really have to tell people who have the gift of mercy to weep with those who weep; it comes naturally.

Do you recognize in yourself the hallmarks of someone to whom God has given the gift of giving? If so, I would encourage you to learn more about that important gift. Do your own Bible study on the subject. And if you are not already tithing, begin to tithe at your local church and look for places where your money can be best invested in the Kingdom. Look for opportunities to bless worthy ministries that are affecting and helping people.

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Copyright © 2002 by Robert Morris  

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