Spiritual Gifts: Encouragement

Spiritual Gift of Encouragement in Scripture:

Romans 12:4-8 - "For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." NIV

Luke 6:27-35- "“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked." NLT

John 8:10-11 - "Jesus straightened up and asked her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' 'No one, sir,' she said.'Then neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared. 'Go now and leave your life of sin.'" NIV

Acts 4:36-37- "For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means 'Son of Encouragement'). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles." NLT

Acts 9:31- "Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers." NIV

Acts 14:21-22- "After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God." NLT

Hebrews 3:12-13- "Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God." NLT

Exodus 17:10-13- "So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword." NIV

Hebrews 10:24-25- "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." NIV

What is the Spiritual Gift of Encouragement?

The spiritual gift of encouragement is one of those essential spiritual gifts that people don't tend to notice they need until they get it. The person with this gift have the ability to find those in need and lift up their spirits. They're kind of like the cheerleaders in the church, encouraging people to overcome difficult times. They allow those who are hurting or burdened to see the light at the end of the tunnel and feel as though there are people who care about them. Those with this gift are real morale boosters.

This gift is incredibly important to church leadership, which can be lonely. Many people go to their youth pastors, leaders, and elders to get advice and lay their burdens out for them. Yet few people remember that these leaders also need encouragement themselves. A person with the spiritual gift of encouragement is there to provide the leadership support.

The other thing the person with the spiritual gift of encouragement does is motivate action. Those with this gift often see the positive side of movement and can help push people in compassionate ways into doing something that is good for them. Yet, there is a hazard with this gift when people with this gift forget their responsibility or become too hasty to give blanket advice.

Is the Gift of Encouragement My Spiritual Gift?

Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer "yes" to many of them, then you may have the spiritual gift of encouragement:

  • Do you always seem to just know when someone is in need, even if they're not right in front of you?
  • Do people seek you out when they are feeling low or sad or just need help with something?
  • When you have to confront someone about something, do they often walk away feeling better about it?
  • Do you tend to give good advice that fits the individual person's situation and not blanket advice?
  • Are you drawn to people in need?
  • Can you always seem to find the light at the end of the tunnel?