Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Romans 12:6 (KJV)
Gifts – Reading this in English you’d no doubt jump to the conclusion that Paul is about to expound on the gifts of the Spirit which he earlier wrote in his letter to the Corinthians. I know I did. I imagined these must be other gifts of the Spirit that Paul forgot to mention to the Corinthians, but would be useful to the Romans. But there’s a difference here from his other letter.
In the letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes of the gifts, or charisma, given by the Spirit which is then manifested in several different ways: prophecy, faith, wisdom, healing, etc. But here Paul states something quite different. These charismata are given by the grace of God. These are not given by pneuma, the Spirit. These gifts are charisma. You might recognize that word because it’s the same in English – charisma. It is your very character. Now with this in mind, read through the chapter again. Which charisma describes you best?
We’ll quickly run through these to help decipher their inferences so that you might see yourself in one of them. This charisma is something you’re born with, not something given to you by the Spirit. And it’s vital to know your character so that the congregation may be edified by charisma.
Prophecy – The prophet, the revealer, the unpacker. The one who digs to find the deep meanings of things.
Ministry – The doer, the implementer. The one who can be told what to do and sacrifices himself to get it done.
Teaching – The teacher. This person commits themselves to teaching others every detail they know. They are committed to the growth of others.
Exhortation – The enabler. A person who encourages others. They are the ones who lift the spirits of others.
Stewardship – The steward. The person who manages resources for the greater good. They are committed to well being. You might find these people as accountants of companies. They take what someone has and they make more.
Leadership – The leader, the ruler, the builder. This is an entrepreneur. They see things and bring them into life. This person takes a project and makes it happen, but can, at times be demanding to get it done.
Mercy – The merciful. These are your problem solvers. They want to solve other people’s problems. They love to fix things, and at times, if nothing needs fixing, they might break it so they can fix it.
These quick definitions are gathered on part of the study of each word in its Greek writing as it relates to the LXX’s Greek translation of the Hebrew. It’s important to note that each gift here is something given you by God, but can be used for good or evil. It’s your obligation to cultivate your gift and submit it to God’s will. You can use your gift for God’s glory or your own, which will it be?