". . . If a man's gift is prophecy, let him use it in proportion to his faith." (Romans 12:6b, NIV)
Prophecy (or, Prophet) is the only gift that shows up in each of the gifts lists (Romans 12, Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12). This gift has a different purpose, however, in each of the three areas. We are discussing here the Motivational Gift of Prophecy in Romans 12. Scoring high in this gift does not mean that you are gifted in the other two uses of the Prophecy gift. Using it "in proportion to his faith" simply means that you are to exercise your gift in the power of God but with a reliance on Him.
The Motivational Gift of Prophecy does not mean that you can foretell the future. It does not mean that you will speak words given directly by God. It means that you hold the Word of God in the highest regard. The Word of God alone is the only gauge by which you measure a person's actions, thoughts and motivations. It means that you will hold the rest of our feet to the fire and aide in keeping the Body on track and lined up with God's Word.
Let's look at an example from Scripture: the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah is a great example because he had the gift of prophecy operating in his life as a motivational gift, a ministry gift and as a manifestation gift. He was the quintessential prophet. Everything he did and said was motivated by his love for God and his strong desire for right and wrong. He said whatever God told him to say to the people and to the king at the cost of his reputation and later his life. He was considered by most to be harsh and uncaring. The leaders of the day, both Jewish and Gentile, wanted him to stay quiet. He could not, though. He was a highly motivated prophet. Isaiah, chapter 1 gives you a good taste of how this prophet operated and how he saw life and people.
If you scored high in Prophecy in your Spiritual Gifts Assessment, here are some interesting things you may want to know about yourself. For you, everything is black and white. You don't operate in the gray areas of life. The gray areas in life are nothing; they are non-places. You feel that people need to get right with God, seek His will and walk in it; or, get out of the way. Things are either right or wrong. If you see someone doing something sinful, it's hard for you to hold back the truth that can set them right. I've known some who would give you a severe beating with the Word. At the very least, you call sin what it is: sin. Only through the development of humility in your own life do you become more tempered in your views. The development of humility in anyone's life is God's job.
You are probably highly conscious of the political atmosphere, suspicious of quick church growth, somewhat critical of contemporary culture, very aware of the public unrighteousness that surrounds you and ever ready to shout at the injustice of the world. You understand God's grace and mercy best when it follows a heart that has turned back to the Lord. Isaiah 1:16-20 says this:
Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. "Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.I hope you can see through the eyes of this prophet the black and white and the wrong and right that he sees. I hope you can see through his eyes how mercy is given when hearts turn back to the Lord.
You can be a little scary for others in the Body. Like Isaiah, you are often misunderstood and mistook for cold and uncaring, harsh, lacking grace and mercy (though that is not necessarily how you feel). You are often uncomfortably direct and you never lie. Your words can come out sounding judgmental, but all you really want is for others to wake up and understand the importance and urgency of knowing God and living right. Because of this, others think you need to relax a bit. They probably would prefer that you stay quiet because more times than not you will offend someone by calling sin, sin. Enter your complete reliance on God.
This gift is most often found operating alongside the Motivational Gift of Teaching, but typically, if you scored high in this gift, you probably only scored average at best in something else. I knew a person with this motivational gift who also had the gift of Serving. What you won't find working alongside this gift is the Motivational Gift of Mercy. It just doesn't happen. The person with the Motivational Gift of Mercy deals in ALL of the gray areas of life. In fact, many times you butt heads with the mercy people and they with you. You have a hard time understanding the other one. Although there are some pastors with the Motivational Gift of Prophecy, they typically come with the gift of Mercy; therefore, they can have a difficult time with you.
When the Holy Spirit is in control of your gift you are highly regarded and others will seek you out for spiritual direction. When YOU are in control you become a pain in the rear. (I say that in the most loving way!) Know this: I already regard you! My husband and my oldest daughter have this motivational gift. I know you well.
Here's what you need to do if you have this gift. First, do not be quiet, but do become selective in your moments to point out sin. To be quiet would be to neglect your gift. To be selective is being sensitive to the Holy Spirit's direction regarding when and when not to speak up. Second, allow the Holy Spirit to work in you the fruit of gentleness so that others may hear you without feeling fear and condemnation. Ephesians 4:15 says to "speak the truth in love." Third, cultivate mercy. It may not be your gift, but it is your calling as a child of God and a member of the Body of Christ. Strive to find harmony with some, not all, but some gray areas because this is where most people live. God is merciful and so should you be. Fourth, work with your pastor, not against him. Heed his words as a member of his fold. It is not your job to convict others of sin, it is the Holy Spirit's job.
You are precious! God gave this gift to the Body for the good of the Body. Hopefully, I have clarified this. The Body cannot thrive without you. Because of your willingness to speak out on behalf of righteousness, it makes it a little easier for the rest of us to find the line in the sand.
NOTE: The description of each gift is based on the highest score possible for an individual. You may find that only certain things are true for you and the rest is only true to a certain measure. We are individuals created by an infinitely creative God. We do not fit any certain mold. These descriptions help you to understand why you see things a certain way, why you act a certain way and why some things are more important to you than other things. Most of us will score fairly high in 2 or 3 gifts and how these gifts rank and what God has you involved in at the time will determine how well these gift descriptions speak to your individual personality.