At my church I am taking a spiritual gifts class from Impact University. Throughout the course, we have learned the definitions and characteristics of each of the seven gifts. Below I will share a basic definition of each and explain a few of their characteristics.
The gift of prophecy is probably one of the most disliked of the gifts, due to the bearer’s tendency to speak the truth, no matter the consequences or situation. Someone with the gift of prophecy must know the truth, and wants others to know the truth. They may also find themselves arguing with others who don’t share their point of view, as is my case.
I am able to give a more complete description of this gift because it is my primary gifting. This gift is pretty much the exact opposite of the gift of mercy, given one wants others to know the truth, no matter what pain it causes, and the other wants to just make them feel better and comfort them.
Someone that has the gift of service will often find themselves asking others,”How can I help”. They will do all they can to fulfill everyone’s physical needs, while often rejecting their spiritual needs. However, they will help in whatever way they possibly can to meet the needs of others in virtually any project.
This gift is often misidentified. Most people would guess it is the gift of people who love to instruct others and are successful at it. Rather, it is the gift of those who love to gather knowledge and share it with others, although their method of doing so is often to just spit out all the information at one time. These people can be found volunteering to do research on projects for a group.
The gift of exhortation is probably better known as the gift of evangelism, and they tend to work well with prophets, due to their openness to new ideas or truths. Exhorters can talk to people, and are strangers to no one. They will share their faith wherever an opportunity arises.
Exhorters are also great visionaries, and generally formulate a plan right from the beginning. They tend to start things and then move on, though. Exhorters are also adept at seeing lessons in pain and suffering.
People with the gift of giving naturally love to give, whether it is money or resources or empowerment to others for evangelism, although they are unwilling to perform those tasks themselves. Givers have trouble reaching absolutes in things, and like to keep doors open as long as possible. They often are reluctant to face problems in their own faith and lives.
Along with this, givers are naturally adept at finding good bargains and the best possible option for a circumstance. However, they tend to want to keep their personal lives private, regardless of how much others know about their giving, but tend to rely on themselves to bring in wealth and find deals rather that seek God’s aid.
These gifts may seem like they are two different gifts, but they are listed together in the Bible, so I will do the same here, although I will describe them separately. Both sides often find themselves in leadership roles, although leaders tend to tell others what to do and the best way to do it, while administrators organize events and information for others. Leaders will find others looking to him for what to do. They are focused on their tasks and feel a burden to deliver what they promised to those under their care.
Administrators love to find opportunities for others and run the more technical side of leadership. They will often find themselves volunteering to organize or run an event, while depending on another to instruct the volunteers on where to place things and how to do things.
Leaders and administrators can work well as a team, with one directly leading an event and the other managing and organizing it.
A Final Word on Spiritual Gifts
Now I hope that you have gained some understanding of spiritual gifts, and I hope you can identify your primary gift based on this post. If you wish to complete a more thorough analysis of your gifting, numerous tests can be found online and on church websites. Thank you.