PILLAR 1: IDENTITY
I love the parable of the talents that Jesus taught in Matthew 25, where different people were given different talents. Listen, we are not supposed to compare or compete. There is no competition in the Kingdom. Someone might have five talents, someone might have two, and you might be the one with the one talent, but do not go burying it in the sand. You steward it well and invest in it, and you multiply it, and you work with what you’ve got. Don’t look at everybody else’s situation; look at what God’s given you. It’s your heart, your mind, your life that you’re responsible for. You’ll have to answer to the Lord one day about that.
And this brings us to the individual, motivational design gifts that God has put in each of us. We want to be transformed into the image of Christ…into His likeness. In this journey of transformation, I like to unpack more awareness of how God made you…all the different ways you can discover the gift mix that’s inside you.
What do we mean by a gift mix?
When most people think of their “gift-mix,” they’re thinking about the nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12 or even the five-fold office gifts mentioned in Ephesians. Those are great gifts but are different from the gift list I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is the motivational design gifts of Romans 12. These gifts are rooted more in our very wiring, in our motivation, and in our nature. The gift list I’m speaking about is what the Father put inside of us, at the moment of creation, when He knit us in our mother’s womb. They are the aspects of Himself that He put inside us, to unlock and unpack in us. They help us filter our decisions regarding work, ministry, and personal lives. Our motivational design gift helps us discern our inner motivations and talents which drive us. From there, we attain clarity and focus to determine our calling and to process life decisions.
What is the ultimate purpose for my life?
As leaders, I want us to be able to discover the glory that God has put inside of us. Do you get that? He’s given His glory, He’s given an aspect of Himself to us that we may mirror, that we may reflect Him. It’s not about us – it’s about Him and His purposes.
There are three times in the New Testament that the word “transform” is used. One is “Conform no longer to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2) That word transformed comes from the Greek word metamorpheo, from which we get the word “metamorphosis” where we’re completely changed – going from a caterpillar to a butterfly. In 2 Corinthians 3:8, it talks about how “we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory.”
Unveiled faces equal full transparency. We’re looking in a mirror…so we’re actually looking at ourselves, right? The more we behold Him the more we become like Him. And that is truly the purpose for our life.
Why should we utilize the seven motivational design gifts?
The reason I love to speak about the motivation of our gift-pack is that there are layers and layers of this teaching. To be able to identify who God made you to be, you first must identify who God is to you. There is a grace that will come upon you the more you recognize who He is and these aspects of Him that He’s revealing to you.
Our identity is tied into who He says that we are – that unique gift mix that He put inside each of us when He created us. And not just the generalization that you are a child of God, but who does He say that you are specifically? What words and promises has He given explicitly to you? What has He put inside of you? They might be expressed through any manner of ways, but all of that is an extension of who you are.
When we understand that through our motivational design gift, God in us is flowing out to others, then we begin operating in authority and attracting opportunity.
What are the seven motivational design gifts?
Romans 12:6-8 lists seven motivational design gifts:
- Prophet/Perceiver: someone who’s not necessarily in the office of a prophet but perceives things in people or situations in a different way and explains the truth.
- Server: recognizes the need and efficiently organizes and keeps people on task to meet these needs. Has a good idea of future needs and plans for them.
- Teacher: expounds on truth, explaining difficult concepts in a way easily understood. They like logic and reason, and love to research and analyze.
- Exhorter/Encourager: builds up the body of Christ, lifts up those who are weary or unsure of themselves, and gives practical advice.
- Giver: generously and graciously contributes to finances, resources, and time to those in need. Delights in bringing joy to others, often anonymously.
- Ruler: a take-charge person who sees the “big picture,” and organizes orderly structures and systems to guide and protect others.
- Mercy: a sympathetic, gracious, and compassionate person able to reach out and comfort the hurting, listen to their stories, and relieve their pain.
We are all different parts of the body of Christ, and we need this community to call out the best in us, to hold us accountable to our ability and becoming who we are. When we are maturely operating in the motivational design gifts that God built in us, we find great joy and delight in doing what He’s gifted us to do.
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