In Lesson #1 we learned that every Human being is born with the motivation to give love to others. And that we can discover at a very early age what our motivational gifts are by learning our God-given character traits.
We learned that we exercise our motivation through our ministry (work or profession), and the Holy Spirit determines what manifestation will benefit the receiver the most.
We learned that there are 7 motivational gifts:
1. Exhortation (encouraging others)
2. Facilitation (administration and leadership support)
3. Giving (practical assistance to those in need)
4. Showing Mercy (showing and giving compassion)
5. Prophecy (giving correction and giving direction)
6. Serving (helping others with tasks)
7. Teaching (sharing truthful information)
In This Lesson…
In this lesson we are going to learn more about the motivational gift of EXHORTATION.
Of the 7 motivational gifts, I think this one is my favorite. Exhortation is a gift that is much needed and can easily be recognized. Children with this gift are known to enjoy being the center of attention. They are motivated to encourage others when they recognize they are struggling with life issues. So, let’s start by understanding what the PURPOSE of this joyful gift is.
Purpose of the Gift of Exhortation
Romans 12:8 – Those who possess this joyful gift naturally draw people to them for stimulating faith and encouraging growth in others. This gift is often called the “gift of encouragement.” The Greek word for it is Parakaleo. It means to beseech, exhort, call upon, to encourage and to strengthen. The primary reason for this beautiful gift is to let people know of the powerful and amazing work of God in Christ, particularly the work of Jesus in the atonement, His transformational ability.
This gift is given to people to strengthen and encourage those who are wavering in their faith. Building others up when they are knocked down by life is a major aspect of this gift. People who have been given the gift of exhortation will challenge others to nurture spiritual growth and prod them to be doers of the word to develop their faith. It is considered a speaking gift rather than a serving gift.
Some character traits are obvious: Exhorters are “how to” persons and love to watch others grow whether it is in their faith, in their job, or in their social connections. Exhorters are highly engaged in others’ lives; always upbeat and positive. You instinctively want to listen and talk with these joyful people. Their ability fosters others to change by constantly encouraging them and pointing out their intrinsic worth no matter where they are in life.
Challenges With the Gift of Exhortation
Even though we all have been given motivational gifts, they can be a challenge for children and they need to be taught to navigate them responsibly and effectively. Since children with the gift of exhortation tend to be talkative they need to understand that they can’t always interrupt others when they are talking. Their enthusiasm sometimes makes them guilty of this.
Exhorters generally win a lot of recognition. They excel at almost everything they do, so pride can be a problem for this little one. They need to understand that their abilities came from God as a free gift.
You will need to keep your encourager encouraged. Here’s why. Exhorters can easily become discouraged when they don’t see immediate results in projects they undertake.
Exhorters are generally always encouraging. They have a problem understanding serious matters and that not everything can be fixed with a good attitude. Teach them that their ability to encourage others is a gift and to discern how and when to use it.
Exhorters are generally the ones that create three ways to getting happy, or five ways to lose weight. Because of this they tend to lose sight of more complex issues and fail to understand some people take longer to overcome a problem.
Development of the Gift of Exhortation
Now you know that your child has the gift of exhortation and what some of their challenges are. That is a great start. Developing the gift is next. There are some things that you can do as a parent, as a family, to develop the gift so that he/she understands what it’s all about. Here are a few suggestions. Of course, this is not inclusive. Be creative and have fun!
Give your exhorter as many opportunities as possible to be in group settings. This will let them see how much they tend to interrupt someone else when speaking. Be sure to praise them for their contributions, but that it is important they give everyone their turn to speak and that everyone’s voice is important.
Since exhorters love to be in front of others, give them opportunities to do so whether to sing, to play an instrument, to recite a poem, to read a book, to dance, to speak, etc. This will help them develop what they want to present, whether delivering their lines in a play, reciting a poem, singing a song, or the like. Remind them that not everyone can get up in front of people like they can and it’s okay that others don’t want to.
Exhorters have a challenging time saving anything, from a plate of cookies to a twenty-dollar bill, so teach them how to save. Give them more than they need at one time of several items such as 6 cookies, $10.00, a jar of candy, etc. and give them guidelines that will help them be wise. Then reward them for their good behavior.