The Perceiver


The first motivational gift in Romans 12 is the gift of Perceiving. The Greek word for this gift is “propheteia.” In scripture, we can see specific traits and behaviors of the gift of Perceiving. They are: 1) the ability to interpret scripture, 2) to reveal information to others, and 3) an ability to speak the mind of God.

Perceivers have a keen sense of right and wrong. This is a form of discernment that is seen in both Christians and non-Christians. It is because of this sense of right and wrong that Perceivers hold very high standards. They tend to be perfectionists because of their high standards and can become their own worst critics. In some cases, Perceivers do not realize their gift and they can become critical of other people or situations, which emerges as a pessimistic attitude.

The primary function of this gift is to reveal information the Perceiver has discerned in a way that will help others. This information is not always positive and well received. As a result, Perceivers sometimes appear direct, blunt, or inconsiderate of the feelings of others particularly when sharing this information with people possessing different motivational gifts. This is a classic case of the gift being misunderstood because their real intention is to help people.

In contrast, at times the primary function of the gift is not to reveal the information the Perceiver has discerned – in these cases, God has allowed the Perceiver to discern such things so they can pray about them. Often when people do not understand the purpose of this gift, they can feel (and become) judgmental instead of prayerful. Make no mistake about it, this information is purposefully shown to the Perceiver for a reason!

Another behavioral tendency intrinsic to Perceivers is their intense disdain for injustice. This gift provides strong motivation to “stand up for what is right.” Perceivers apply their values and convictions to everyday life. Often Perceivers are passionate about a principle or cause and have the right message but present it as a zealot and repel the audience they needed to attract. How Perceivers present a message will be a large measure of their success.

Depending on the other dominant gifts working in the Perceiver’s life, it is common that a Perceiver would have a small number of close friends. They tend to be private individuals due to their introspective nature and high standards. A large circle of friends may require tolerance of behaviors they find unacceptable. The friendships they do have go very deep and Perceivers are loyal friends and partners.