Cognitive Dissonance in Redemptive Gifts Shines a Light into a battle area for 3 of the gifts.
A Definition of Cognitive Dissonance: Discomfort when your beliefs don’t match up with your reality.
Redemptive Gifts Divisions (Kinesthetic, Cognitive, and Emotive)
I have written a blog series on the Redemptive Gifts if you need a refresher before reading this article. One way to consider the gifts is through their response to life. When responding to a situation, is action the first stimulus? Is thinking first? Or, is emotion first?
The Redemptive Gifts can be divided up into 3 divisions:
1-Kinesthetic: Prophet and Servant
2-Cognitive: Teacher, Giver, and Ruler
3-Emotive: Exhorter and Mercy
In today’s post I want to consider the cognitive gifts – Teacher, Giver and Ruler – and a weakness they have. I first became aware of this in my own gift, the Teacher gift.
Every gift has a strength and a corresponding weakness. For the Teacher, the weakness is social responsibility. Let me explain this. First of all, the way a teacher thinks is that life is about standards and equations. Think about chemistry. There are certain truths (standards) that can form an equation in order to solve problems. Teachers track this way and live like this – all of life is put into a logical equation. Think about Mr. Spock on Star Trek. If a given thing doesn’t make sense, the teacher – with great patience – will meditate on it and contemplate about it until it does.
The problem is, not everything is logical. Romance for example is not logical. Relationships with imperfect people (that’s everyone) are not always logical. To love someone despite their shortcomings takes heart, not the thinking mind. So the teacher has to press in and develop social responsibility. They have to intentionally try to “feel” and not “figure out” people. Giver and Ruler don’t seem to struggle to the same degree as teacher, however, their cognitive powers can get in their way also. Their thinking happens before any feeling, or even before any doing usually.
Givers have an incredible ability to birth things, to make things happen, to find resources where others never thought to even look. They are able to do this because they don’t get caught up in the past and they have a natural independence giving them freedom to grab a new idea and run with it. Yet, in their drive to bring something forth and in their independence, they can miss people’s hearts, or even run over people at times. Awareness is key here. If Givers can see this tendency in themselves, they can birth things in healthy ways.
Rulers have an amazing capacity to accomplish a task. They don’t fear taking a task on and typically know the absolute best way to get it done. This is how their minds work, how they track. For Rulers life is about developing and organizing something then managing until it’s done. The world would be in real trouble without the Ruler gift. However, the Ruler too, can often run over people with their various ideas of the “right” ways to do things. People’s hearts aren’t always ready to do the right thing. Again awareness is key.
As a potential weaknesses are recognized, they can be addressed. The cognitive gifts – Teacher, Giver, Ruler – are all extremely important in the Kingdom of God. By knowing how they think, and how that’s their primary response in life, we can understand them and relate to them better. And by themselves knowing their own weaknesses and tendencies, they can seek to take responsibility to grow and mature in those areas.