THE WHOLE-HEARTED LEADER
PILLAR 1: IDENTITY
How Do I Grow into a Whole-hearted Leader?
When you begin to discover your wiring, to become aware of your motivations, and to recognize God’s imprint on you, then you are on the journey to become the best version of you. Perhaps you’ve been in a place where you lessen yourself and think that something outside of you is going to redeem you. But God has already put inside of you these qualities and characteristics so you can impact the people in the world around you. He has given each of us motivational design gifts, which work with our natural abilities and talents in an awesome way. Here are the seven motivational design gifts as listed in Romans 12:6-8:
- Prophet/Perceiver: perceives and explains the truth.
- Server: recognizes need and efficiently organizes to meet these needs.
- Teacher: expounds on truth, explaining difficult concepts.
- Exhorter/Encourager: builds up the body of Christ and encourages action.
- Giver: generously, but analytically, contributes to those in need.
- Ruler/Leader: a take-charge person who organizes and guides others.
- Mercy: a sympathetic, compassionate person who comforts the hurting.
How do I use the motivational design gifts as a whole-hearted leader?
Here’s the key to developing into a whole-hearted leader. Our identity is rooted in our wiring – the way God made us, and the gift He installed in us. Once we unpack and discover our identity, then we want to begin maturing in our gift. There’s an unredeemed way and a redeemed way. There’s an immature way and the mature way to express who we are. If our minds have not been renewed, then the way we operate in our gift is not what God intended.
All of us have a motivational design gift that influences our identity. It’s really important that we grow in walking in the Spirit so that we can use those gifts in a mature, redeemed way. Additionally, we have some aspect of each of the other gifts within us that we ought to have some growth in. Our spirit man is joined with the Holy Spirit, so out of that flows the ability to operate in every gift to a certain extent. Even though mercy is not my primary motivational design gift, nevertheless, I have to grow in mercy. And I have grown in mercy because the Lord has tenderized my heart and matured me to grow in that place of mercy.
How do I use my gifts in a redeemed versus unredeemed way?
In my case, my initial motivation – that thing that I can’t help but do – is to perceive something, because my motivational design gift is prophet/perceiver. Now, an immature person may have this motivational design gift. If they’re immature, when they perceive something, they bluntly speak the black and white, or the judgment. But a prophet/perceiver who is redeemed and walking in maturity is going to see the gold. They’re going to see it the way God sees it, and they are able to communicate this in a bold yet loving way that brings hope.
Once you’re able to unpack your initial motivational design gift, then you’re going to understand why you do what you do. What you do comes out of who you are. And if you’re going to behave like Christ, and act like Christ, and do just as He did, then you want to take a look at the motivations of your heart, and make sure you’re walking in the Spirit and walking in maturity and love. I call this entire program the “Whole-hearted Leader,” because ultimately every single pillar carries an aspect that we need. We all need some healing, some correction in our identity. We need to know who we are as sons and daughters – as mature sons and daughters of God. And we need to operate in our gifts in a mature way, a redeemed way.
What do I do about the gifts that aren’t part of my wiring?
As I mentioned before, I don’t naturally/instinctually show mercy at first, I perceive first. Now today I can express compassion and show mercy, but it’s still not my primary wiring. Your soul is wired in one primary gift, but your spirit-man has capacity for all the motivational design gifts because they’re all in Jesus, and Jesus is in us.
What that means is we must functionally learn some of the motivations that don’t come naturally, and intentionally utilize them so that we grow them within us. Your initial motivation or gift – you don’t have to work at that. You already have it. You already do it. You can’t help but do it. The key is, are you doing it in a redeemed way? In a mature way?
So, we need to work on two levels – maturing in our primary gift, as well as growing within us and learning to use the gifts that aren’t wired in us. Our specific gift is going to be what drives us, but as believers, we’re meant to implement all the gifts when we are whole-hearted.
If I have the same gift as someone else, will it look the same?
Our identity is huge. It’s easy for us to simplify our identity into “I’m a child of God.” Well, yes, you and I are royal heirs, we’re citizens of heaven, we’re sons or daughters of the King. And yet, even though we share that aspect of our identity, I’m not wired exactly the same as you are, and I’m not going to do things the way that you’re going to do them. And that’s true even if you and I have the same motivational design gift because our individual personality and behavioral traits are going to impact how we use it. We each have the handprint of God on us in a unique way.
How Do I Love Well Those around Me with Other Gifts?
Guess what? When you’re married or you’re partnering in work or ministry with someone, and that person has one motivational design gift and you’re the opposite, then you’re going to need a lot of grace. Maybe that person is a lot more slow-moving than you are. Do you know how many teacher-wired people I’ve met who are married to either mercy or an exhorter? Both of those gifts are very emotionally expressive, while a teacher’s motivation is very mentally motivated and internally motivated. They’re naturally looking for truth so they’re meticulous and painstaking. When these deep-thinking, slow-moving teachers take their time, it frustrates the tar out of someone like an exhorter who is fast-moving and needs to go big and be colorful and creative. That’s where the opposites attract, and it’s great how you can complement each other, but at the same time you really have to walk in grace to not get annoyed with the other person.
If we can recognize our own identity and then begin to discover the grace God has put on other people, we can accept them for who they are. We can work together with them in grace and patience, knowing that we each bring something special to the table, in our own unique way.
This is especially true when we recognize that they’re in a little immaturity or even a little unredeemed. We can have grace for that gift God has put inside of them because there’s fruit in there, there’s gold in there, it just needs to be mined. It’s like prophetic cheating because you see the thumbprint of God in their life. And you know a lot of what they are called to become and to do, who they’re growing into, how they’re going to be displaying Christ in their own unique way. So we can extend grace and patience, as we encourage them to be who God created them to be.
Ultimately at the end of the day, we don’t get our legitimacy or value or worth from anything we do, or from who anyone else says that we are, or based on a title or a position of leadership or awards or accolades. Our identity comes very simply: Who am I? Who does God say that I am? And we need to take that identity God has given us and grow and mature in it, so He can use us to be the leaders He created us to be.
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