“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us…if it is to encourage, then give encouragement…” Romans 12:6, 8
This passage of scripture highlights the functions within the body of Christ and emplors each of us to steward those gifts with all fervor and vigor. In seeking to find who I am and in seeking to find who God is, this was one of the first places the Holy Spirit directed and started teaching me in. He identified in me the gift of encouragement. Then, in accordance with my prayer, he identified how the former ways I lived in were everything to corrupt that gift. The Lord began to identify the power of words and how many ill, harsh, and unkind words that had proceeded from my mouth towards EVERYONE around me.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”1 Thessalonians 5:11
Paul encourages even in this instruction by affirming this church’s obedience to the Word. As soon as my eyes were open to both the tremendous gift I’d been given, the error of my ways, and the scheme of the enemy to steal what I had been given, the Lord was able to work. I began to meditate on scripture that tells us to encourage and began acting on it in conversation. When I encountered someone facing a challenge, I spoke words of life over them. When I experienced someone facing defeat and failure I spoke victory over them. Over the years the Lord has even identified deep roots of criticism and judgment that have hindered this gift and removed them at my request.
Those deeper things were in a place to be revealed and burned up because I had to be diligent to begin stewarding my gift. This applies to all the gifts God gives us, spiritual and natural. Don’t say “why can’t I have the gift of prophecy or leading?” When right in front of you is the gift of salvation, family, and giving.
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30
When you are envious of others it is simply unhealthy. These gifts that Romans lays out are the gifts that God designs us with personally. Now the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12) are available to all believers as he manifests through us. Those are not the gifts I’m referring to. The gifts that God implants in our hearts individually and equips us to operate in for the betterment of the body are the gifts I’m talking about.
I was listening to a podcast this morning on the way to work that gave me new insight on this gift. Side note: always be putting in the word whether listening to audio books, the Bible app, or podcast; spend your journey praying and meditating and feeding not focusing on the driving ability of those around you! Anyways, this podcast was actually on leading from a place of courage. Something the gentleman said struck revelation in the gift of encouragement and I began to see just how powerful this gift is.
See the definition of encouragement: to give support, confidence, or hope; help or stimulate to develop.
Now see the definition of courage: the ability to do something frightening; strength in the face of pain
I just started to see the power of encouraging someone in that you are giving another person the ability to face what they once couldn’t and helping them to develop the strength of confidence. Wow! That’s amazing to me! What a privileged and powerful place it is to operate from the gift of encouragement.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:29
1 Chron. 28:20, Deut. 31:6, Josh. 1:6, 9, 1 Cor. 16:13 all tell us to be strong and courageous. A lot of the passages telling us to be strong also tell us to not be in fear because being courageous is facing fear in strength. And when you encourage someone you give them that ability! WOAH! I love that:) Steward your gifts and allow the power instilled in you to be the victory in someone else’s life!