The Gift and Problem Areas for an Encourager
Are you an encourager? Does building people up come easy for you? Can you see the greatness in someone that they may not be able to see in themselves? Does your gift as an encourager or exhorter come with a passion?
The gift of encouragement is building people up and not tearing down or discouraging them. It is recognizing a person’s value, worth, actions, or behavior.
Every gift comes with specific characteristics and problem areas. The positive characteristics of the gift are easy, but the problem areas tend to come at unexpected times. Our gift should not turn into discouragement.
One of my gifts is that of encouragement, and it comes through in many ways. You may see it in my writing, my relationships, or in my actions.
A brief story
As the director of the women’s ministry, my team and I were planning a retreat. One of my responsibilities was to choose the facilitators for each breakout group. There was a lady whom I thought would be an excellent facilitator. She was a Sunday school teacher, so I thought this would come easy for her. However, I had to convince her that she had what it took to oversee the class, and I felt I had likely manipulated her because of what I wanted to happen. She finally decided to lead the class.
After the retreat
The same lady began to question the knowledge of others on the team. As a leader, I’m very protective of the people I surround myself with and choose as team members. The young ladies were just starting out in ministry and getting to know Christ but growing in their understanding of God’s word. Thus, the tension built between this lady and me.
Once I saw the aftermath of my actions, I could not go back and change what happened. At this point, I felt like I had created a monster and this monster was alive and well!
My motivation was sincere. What I wanted to see happen wasn’t wrong, but how I went about getting what I wanted was not right. Unfortunately, I had to deal with the aftermath!
It is my responsibility to handle the problem areas of my gift and not forget the hurt I could cause. Our spiritual gifts are meant to draw others to God and give Him glory!
What does God say?
God has a lot to say about how we are to encourage and teach one another. If we are to walk in our gift, we should want to know:
- The definition of the gift
- The positive characteristics
- The problem areas the gift
- Encourage: to give support, confidence, or hope to
- Edify: to instruct and improve the mind in knowledge, particularly in moral and religious knowledge, in faith and holiness
A few of the ¹common problem areas of the gift of encouragement or exhortation:
- May interrupt others in eagerness to give opinions or advice
- Will use scripture out of context to make a point
- Can be “cut and dry” in prescribing steps of action
- Straight forward and opinionated
- Can be overly self-confident
Encouragement is essential to God, which means it is vital for us. This is clear in both the Old and New Testaments. Scriptures give us examples of encouragement under different circumstances. The scriptures below can help.
- Romans 12:6-8 (NASB) 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, [f]according to the proportion of his faith;7 if [g]service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with [h]liberality; he who [i]leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NASB) Therefore [h]encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (MSG) So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
- Isaiah 41:7 (NASB) So the craftsman encourages the smelter, And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, Saying of the soldering, “It is good”; And he fastens it with nails So that it will not totter.
- Isaiah 35:3 (NASB) Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.
- Hebrews 3:13 (NASB) But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
In closing, I hope this article is helpful to all the encouragers out there. I would hate to see you caught up in the traps of your giftedness. All gifts come with a negative or positive impact, and we are responsible for the impact we have on others. The main goal is for us to use our giftedness to please God and see that others give glory to God!
¹Discover Your God-Given Gifts by Don & Katie Fortune
Please view Darlene J. Harris Speaker Writer for additional resource click on the menu button “Test Forgiveness, Spiritual Gifts.”
If you are interested in a workshop or individual services please contact me at Darlene Speaking From the Heart to arrange an appointment call.
All scriptures are from https://www.biblegateway.com
Edited by: Tiffany Clark
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