Tag Archives: Motivation

DISC and Spiritual Gifts: So Happy Together


image courtesy of Christian Coach Institute

My friend is a mercy gift—loving and kind, compassionate and empathetic to everyone. She can’t be around me when I’m angry because she will actually “absorb” my feelings. She is compassionate and giving, loyal to the nth degree. However, she is also very dominant and direct, especially in leadership roles. She has no problems telling you what to do or taking charge of situations, especially if the leadership is questionable. It seems she is crazy sometimes, though, because her primary concern is that everyone feels loved and is shown compassion, yet she can be very bossy and demanding. When you meet her, you may wonder what’s going on inside her—the conflict of her driving personality combined with her gentle, mercy-gifted spirit. But she was fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the universe, who saw fit to give her these conflicting motivations.

What happens when DISC and spiritual gifts combine? Can the two work together to give us a better picture of ourselves and our Creator? Of course they can! And here’s what you need to know about DISC and spiritual gifts together:

  • DISC personality profiles focus on your natural motivations. These are the motivations that you were born with that have been shaped by your upbringing, your experiences, and your desires. My friend’s personality profile is a high D because her life and natural inclinations have been to be someone who direct and in control in her home life and her work life. A lawyer by profession, she is used to taking action in situations at work. As a single mother, she also must be the driving force in her children’s lives. Her high D personality has been strengthened over the years as through leadership positions both personally and professionally. When I’ve worked under her leadership, I’ve seen first-hand her motivation for challenge and directness. However, I also know there is more to her!
  • Spiritual gifts focus on supernatural motivations. While our Creator God gave you your personality as well, He also gave you spiritual motivations to do His will and bring glory and honor to His name. My friend above is a high D and a mercy gift who God made to bring comfort to the hurting. I love seeing her spiritual gift in action, as she weeps with those who weep and celebrates with those who celebrate. I know when she is acting on her supernatural inclinations, she is walking in the will of God very clearly. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” I watch this play out through my friend’s spiritual gift of mercy, and I know that God is pleased to be working in and through her.
  • DISC and spiritual gifts are better together. When you understand that you have not only natural but supernatural motivations, you see a bigger picture of yourself and the God Who created you. Why is this important? Because the more you know and understand God, the more you will know and understand yourself—and vice versa! When I think about my friend, I think about how imaginative God was when He gave her an oddly opposite combination of a high D personality with a mercy spiritual gift. But Jesus also embodied that same of “odd” pairing—mostly because he was all four personality types and all seven spiritual gifts! This also makes Jesus a great mirror to which we can compare our personality types as well as our spiritual gifts. And DISC and spiritual gifts are definitely better together!

As we close this series on DISC, I hope you’ve learned a little more about yourself and the individuality that God has blessed you with through your personality (and your spiritual gifts). If you would like to know more about DISC and/or spiritual gifts, please feel free to contact me—I would love to talk to you about your uniqueness and how it can help make you a better leader, friend, spouse, and family member—because knowing yourself is the best thing you can give to the world!

Motivation: Knowledge

Knowledge magnifier by Stuart Miles

image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

Note: As we discuss the motivational gift of teacher, please remember: the teacher gift should not be confused with those who teach (whether in schools/universities/etc. or at our churches). The profession of teacher and the “act” of teaching are not the same thing as having the motivational gift of teacher. Can a motivational gift of teacher have the profession of teacher? Yes, of course! But someone who teaches could have any motivational gift. For example, the New Testament apostle Paul was an incredible teacher, but his motivational gift was exhorter. My focus on this blog will be on motivations, not professions.

I was waiting for my friend to arrive, and he was running late (as always). When he finally arrived, I said, “What happened? Why didn’t you call to say you were running late?” Instead of simply replying “Traffic,” my friend launched into a detailed report of his day, including what he ate for breakfast, his work schedule, and how his whole day went, ending with his late arrival. I shook my head and smiled. Arthur Burk calls this “cumulative reporting on a single issue,” and it is very characteristic of the motivational gift of teacher.

What does the motivational gift of teaching look like? A teacher’s basic motivational drive is to discover and validate truth, giving the teacher great research skills. They often study things diligently, giving attention to details and making sure statement are accurate. Teachers are passionate about correcting error and are steadfast, and sincere. Teachers are often mistaken for the gift of mercy in that they are safe for those who are wounded because they are not judgmental or critical. A teacher will listen carefully to the whole story and process before speaking—though their need to see the end of a process before starting something new can hinder their faith and walk with Christ.

Like the other gifts, teachers can have weaknesses, many of which arise from the accumulation of knowledge. Here are three areas of awareness for the teacher gift to consider:

  • Knowledge vs. wisdom. “Knowledge is information; wisdom is seeing life from God’s perspective” (Gothard). Knowledge is not the same as wisdom, nor should a teacher compare the two. Someone with knowledge has information and facts; someone with wisdom can give practical application to truth. Teacher gifts should beware of confusing knowledge and wisdom but should strive for both, learning to apply what they know.
  • Knowledge vs. intimacy. Teachers may seem cold and insensitive, which can create rifts between themselves and others. Teachers must work to be inclusive of others who may not share their doctrinal beliefs or love for knowledge. In addition, their task-oriented quest for knowledge may also hinder intimacy with God. Teachers must pursue a relationship with their Father by being diligent in prayer—Jesus often stepped away from His pursuit of knowledge to spend time with His Father alone.
  • Knowledge vs. belief. Teacher gifts may need extensive study before exercising faith. They must be careful that pride of knowledge does not prevent them from experiencing the blessings God gives to those who simply believe! God does not always show the end result of a process, and many times asks his children to take steps of faith. Teachers can increase their unbelief and intimacy with God by trusting Him to step into unseen territory.

While knowledge of God is important, knowing God and others intimately is important for every believer. We can help teachers pursue being known as much as they pursue knowledge, helping them walking in fulfillment as God intended.

How do you help your teacher friends walk in fulfillment of their gift?

Motivation: Truth

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.

Truth by Stuart Miles

image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.com

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.

  1.  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! 
  1. 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! 
  1. 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! 
  1. 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?