I’m continuing with a look at the gifts of the Holy Spirit during this Pentecost season.
Parakleo is translated in different ways into English: to admonish, encourage, or beseech. But the most common translation in the context of a spiritual gift is “to exhort,” or to possession the gift of Exhortation.
Simply put, those who possess the gift of Exhortation are called to support the spiritual life of fellow disciples by helping people understand the practical applications of Scripture in their lives. This is distinguished a bit from the gift of Teaching, which is considered to be for those who help people gain a deeper and richer understanding of Scripture; those with the gift of exhortation show how the “rubber hits the road” when it comes to being a Christian.
Those with the gift of exhortation make good counselors and coaches, and tend to be the “get it done” kind of leaders. The frequent pitfalls of this spiritual gift are a tendency to interrupt others, oversimplify complex problems, and be tempted by pride (a circumstance common to all whose gifts tend towards leadership).
The gift of Exhortation is a necessary and relevant one, as we seek to help find ways to incorporate our spiritual values in a meaningful and authentic way into our daily lives.
Yours in Christ,