Romans chapter 12 verse 6 reads ” Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;”
The word prophet can have negative connotations within the church and a full discourse on the various meanings of the word is beyond our purpose here. The meaning which I believe best represents the intent of the gift of the spirit we are talking about is: one who interprets the scripture under the inspiration of God and exhorts others to godly behavior and attitudes. John Piper calls the gift of prophesy a “forth-telling” meaning an exhortation to follow the truth of what is already written in the word of God, as opposed to “foretelling” which is predicting events which are to come.
I agree with Pastor John and in order to avoid confusion, I find using the word perception to be a more accurate one in our English language for describing the gift mentioned in Romans 12:6.
Do you have the gift of Perception?
Perceivers are deeply invested in knowing exactly what is right, and what is wrong. They find security and control in figuring out what the right way is and then following it. They are often perfectionists, taking whatever time is necessary to research something and then implement it correctly.
This gift is meant for building up the body by understanding God’s word and His will, and then sharing that truth with other believers. They are wonderful standard bearers for the godly character traits we should all seek to embody. Things like honesty, truth and righteousness come naturally to them.
They are deep thinkers; which can lead to long periods of introspection where invariably they find themselves not performing up to their own standards.
Perceiver in Action
My son is a perceiver. He is a delight to teach and quickly grasps abstract concepts. He remembers well what he’s learned about scripture; both Biblical history and the principles of godly living. He cares about living the way God calls us to and is very disappointed in himself when he fails. Often this comes out as anger. Because I know of his perfectionist tendencies, I can sit him down and explain why he can’t be perfect and most importantly, that I don’t expect him to be perfect, I’m not disappointed in him. I find it is important to teach on what the bible has to say about anger and why we need to be in control of our emotions – fortunately, with his perceiver gifts, he wants to do what is right in God’s eyes and can see the need for spiritual growth.
Perceiver strengths and weaknesses
Perceivers are very idealistic, they sometimes have an unrealistic view of how the world should be – they can be extremely serious, taking themselves and their work too seriously, as if they expect to be perfect in everything. If you are experiencing a family member who is very hard on themselves, one who pitches a fit over getting something wrong, you may have a strong perceiver gift on your hands. Perceivers will benefit from remembering only Jesus was perfect and our imperfections are gifts from God, reminders that we need Him. High standards are a good thing and the Lord tells us “whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all of your might” but we need to be realistic too. The world is fallen and sinful and for that reason, this side of heaven, nothing will be completely perfect. – this understanding of mercy is a bit underdeveloped in the average perceiver and if not taught to them, they will grow to be judgmental and self-righteous, finding fault and criticizing others in their efforts to correct what they see as wrong behaviors. It is very important for a perceiver to an understand the source of mercy and forgiveness and turn to God in prayer on the behalf of a sinful friend rather than confront and judge the person themselves.
Outspoken, with strong opinions – they know what is right!
Wants to do what is right – good hearted
Lower than average self image