An Explanation Of Redemptive Gifts

by Caleb Roesler


I first heard about the redemptive gifts while I was living in Qatar and attending a wonderful church. A couple visiting from South Africa began to teach the audience about them, and how they can help you carry out the call on your life. They went on to explain how the title was meant to convey how a Christian connects with their Redeemer. The redemptive gifts are based on the passage in Romans 12:3-8. I was familiar with the passage but the title seemed new to me. They are also called the motivational gifts, based on what motivates the person, and are often interpreted in the context of all of the spiritual gift passages in scripture. These gifts in Romans are usually seen more as a "personality test" for Christians in that these gifts are how you are born or "wired". Whereas other passages of gifts are often considered either "offices" or "manifestation gifts" of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is typically taught that redemptive gifts and manifestation gifts do not necessarily relate.

I was definitely a bit skeptical of how far some of these redemptive gift interpretations went, since they are only based primarily off of a small passage of scripture. However, I can say that I have always personally enjoyed this type of analysis of people and have always been a lover of personality tests. I was put a bit more at ease, when I saw that my parents-in-law had a booklet at their home labeled, "The Motivational Gifts." They attend a church that is very conservative regarding spiritual gifts and I saw that the explanations are very similar after doing more research.
I prefer the title motivational gifts, because I tend to see these gifts from the perspective of how fallen humans are motivated to honor God. I don't necessarily think the motivational gift analysis should be taken to far for an individual if it doesn't resonate with them, but I also don't think that there is that much danger if somebody chooses to really embrace what they believe their gift is and how they can use it to serve God and others. I think it is important to emphasize that well balanced character is crucial to the Christian life, and that these types simply serve to demonstrate where you may be gifted.

So without further ado, The seven motivational gifts:

  • Prophet
  • Servant
  • Teacher
  • Exhorter
  • Giver
  • Ruler
  • Mercy

Determining your type: The descriptions I have provided below are simply my representation of the types based on some of the links. The links I have provided will give you more explanation about your gift as well as long lists of traits. My recommendation is to look at the bigger picture of each gift, and see which principles resonate with you the most. I also think it is important to look at who you were when you were younger, what you dream about, what inspires you, and what comes easily to you. It is also important to be honest with yourself regarding who you are and not necessarily what you think is the most appealing gift. It can be helpful to and have an understanding of how others see you, especially from a balanced perspective - as family, friends, co-workers often see you in a different context.

Prophet

This type tends to love God's design and plan for all situations. They can be very black and white about right and wrong and morality and are typically very bold about it. Prophets love to apply the Word of God to expose sin and see restoration. They are very courageous and have a passion for excellence. A biblical example is Peter.

Servant

They easily see practical needs and meet them. Greatly enjoy doing practical or physical work. They want to create a place where God can be honored. Typically very humble, and respect authority, but do not desire authority for themselves. Biblical examples are Esther and Timothy.
Teacher: They are drawn to discover and validate truth. They love to read and research, often at the expense of practical application. Teachers believe accuracy of information is vital, and tend to love doctrine. They typically need to evaluate truth and ideas for themselves. Luke is a biblical example of a teacher.

Exhorter

They are natural encouraging and want to see others achieve their potential. They are typically more concerned with applying truth than researching it. Exhorters have a strong desire to see a response in their interaction with others. Their lives are heavily based on optimism and perseverance. A biblical example is Paul.

Giver

They have a strong generational worldview and strongly see themselves as stewards. They are very giving of their resources and typically do so without credit. They are usually very wise, industrious, and successful. Biblical examples are Job, Lydia, Matthew

Ruler

They are great at accomplishing significant tasks. They naturally develop plans and have no problems delegating to others. Rulers are typically visionaries with long term plans. They are usually very skilled in getting quality results from others and thrive under pressure. Nehemiah is a biblical example.

Mercy

They are incredibly loving, forgiving, and see the good in other people. A person with the gift of mercy is incredibly sensitive to the emotional and spiritual needs of others. They want to avoid confrontation and offer love and compassion to others. The apostle John is a biblical example of having the gift of mercy.


If you believe one of these gifts resonates with you, spend some time thinking about what that should mean for your life. It may mean spending more time understanding how to utilize these gifts, contemplating how you understand and serve God, or even simply developing your weaknesses. I also think it can have meaningful impact on marriages, to better understand your spouse and what inspires and motivates them. God bless!!