The gift of exhortation, as we saw last week, is one of the spiritual gifts that when exercised in sincerity can make a major difference in the lives of those that are discouraged and feeling like they are all alone in their suffering. I have seen this many times and have experienced myself on numerous occasions the encouragement that comes from one who has the gift of exhortation. I am so thankful for the exhorters who consistently use their gift to encourage others which results in the edification of the church. It is such a powerful witness to the world around us and certainly brings glory to God for which He so richly deserves.
Tonight we move on to the fifth gift of the seven motivational gifts we have been listing each week. This spiritual gift is the gift of giving. It has always amazed me how God blesses certain people with this gift and then at the same time supplies them with the means to use the gift. Their attitude seems to be that anything they have over and above what they need is provided to them to share and bless others. one of the best examples I have seen of an individual with the gift of giving was a local businessman I knew and attended church with for many years. After his passing, I discovered that he had anonymously provided the financial assistance for many youngsters to attend church camps and youth retreats throughout his lifetime and never expected anything in return. What a blessing it was to those kids but what an example it was for me!
The seven motivational gifts are:
- Giving ***
A giver’s basic motivational drive is to conserve and share resources in order to meet needs. Givers take special delight in discovering needs that others overlook and then meeting those needs. Giver’s exhibit several characteristics that separate them form others. These include:
- They enjoy preventing waste by exercising wisdom and accountability.
- They get great joy in finding less costly ways to get things done.
- They like to stay out of the limelight to avoid recognition for their giving.
- They have a unique ability to accumulate savings, even in hard times.
Along with these characteristics, one with the gift of giving has a number of strengths they rely on as they exercise their gift. They save money by making wise purchases and they avoid impulse spending. They have an excellent understanding of authority and accountability and expect to be held accountable while also holding others to the same expectations. They are hard workers with conservative values and very seldom incur significant debt. They like to be personally involved in the lives of those they help and love to motivate others to save and give.
Their weaknesses include sometimes becoming “just plain cheap” in their efforts to conserve resources and they can react negatively to pressure to give if the need is well publicized. If they are offended or lose confidence in a person or a ministry they may allow their feelings to interfere with God-given opportunities to give. They are easily tempted to judge someone else or a ministry if one incident occurs that hints of poor stewardship of resources or lack of accountability. And sometimes their perspective turns into “tunnel vision” if they become too focused on issues they see as priorities.
The gift of giving certainly has a role to play in how the church is to function in today’s times. We all realize that God expects us to return to Him a portion of what He so graciously blesses us with. But He has set aside some believers with this gift to assist those who have certain needs and at the same time be a “watchdog” in how the church utilizes its resources that God has provided. Is is becoming more and more obvious how God has put together these wonderful gifts in such a fashion that if used wisely will meet the needs, whatever they may be, of His church.
Next week our study will focus on the gift of leadership. We will see again how God has orchestrated His plan for our benefit and His glory. And the glory belongs to Him! Until then we should be reminded to thank Him for all He has done for us. I pray that we take nothing for granted.
“What if you woke up today with only those things you thanked God for yesterday?”