Meister Eckhart said, “No one can know God who does not first know himself.” In order to start knowing ourselves, we have to know what motivates us. We can better understand how we’re wired and motivated by discussing the seven spiritual gifts from Romans 12:6-8.
The first gift listed in Romans 12:6 is the motivational gift of prophet. Prophets see and speak truth, as directed by God, to correct what’s wrong and build up the church. Prophets use Scripture to show wrong motives and actions in others. The main motivation for a prophet is TRUTH. They live and breathe truth. They are bold, fearless, opinionated, not intimidated by the unknown or change, verbally expressive visionaries, and see things in black and white, right or wrong. Honesty, integrity, and transparency compel prophets. They are not just opinionated and judgmental about others; prophets are hardest on themselves, especially when they fail or sin. Prophets tell things like they are and are usually the first to speak and share their opinion.
Instead of blogging on the characteristics, it’s more important to focus on how the church can show acceptance to prophets. Knowing your own gift is important, but equally important is to understand all the gifts and how they work together to be the body of Christ. Here are four important ways to receive the motivational gift of prophet.
- Understand that beneath their sometimes harsh exterior, prophets do love. They may not show mercy, gentleness, or sensitivity when they are speaking truth, but prophets usually speak truth because they want what is best for others and for the church. They may value truth over relationship, but that does not mean they do not need or want relationships with others. Love them in return!
- Respect the truth prophets present, even if their method is negative. God has gifted prophets with the ability to see truth. There is usually valuable truth in what the prophet has said. Like the old saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water,” don’t throw out everything the prophet says just because they lacked gentleness. Pray for discernment about the prophet’s words!
- If you want mercy, don’t go to a prophet gift—go to a mercy. Prophets need encouragement, mercy, and understanding, even though they may not give it in return. That doesn’t mean prophets are excused from being merciful or gentle—I am always trying to grow in these areas! However, mercy is not the prophet’s main motivation, so seek out the gift of mercy when you need mercy!
- Tell prophets when they are offensive, hurtful, or causing conflict. God will often use others to correct prophets when they are wrong. In addition, as a prophet gift, I really appreciate it when people are honest with me about my actions. I want that feedback so that I can improve myself and walk in maturity in my gift. Help prophets grow by being truthful with them in return!
Prophets, like the other gifts, are integral to the body of Christ. Receiving them as important pieces of the puzzle is critical as the church becomes the bride God intended!
Do you know any prophets? How do you receive them in your life and church?