Monday December 19, 2005
The Gift of Exhortation
God’s plan is to equip believers with spiritual gifts so that kingdom work can be carried out according to His plan. The gift of exhortation has these characteristics:
A goal of spiritual maturity in others. Exhorters will urge us with earnestness and strong words to choose godliness and grow our faith to maturity. They can visualize how God might work in us to achieve our potential in Christ.
Discernment of root causes. Acting as an advisor, the exhorter is able to identify the foundational problem in our situation as pride, selfishness, insecurity, control, fear, or other hindrances to growth.
Skill in solving problems. Having analyzed the crux of the problem, a person with this gift will want to prescribe corrective steps based on biblical principles. He’ll insist that careful consideration be given to God’s truth, and he will explain potential results of obedience and disobedience.
Our response to them can vary. We may feel they have oversimplifed our situation or are trying to “help” God out. Their authoritative way of speaking can strike us as overconfident. Yet an examination of their lives will likely show that they’ve lived out the biblical truths they are giving us. In contemplating their advice, we may question their application of Scripture or the genuineness of their concern about our pain. An admonisher tells the truth as the Spirit reveals it, even if it means being misunderstood or rejected.
As Christians, we need to hear the truth about ourselves and how we are living. Are you willing to listen?