Christian living- dealing with one 'oops' at a time…


These people are skilled at telling people things they do not want to hear in ways that help the person become motivated to change. These people should be counselors and often are. They should not however be put in charge of anything or given any administrative duties (unless somehow they flow in that gift too). Why? Because these are the people who can talk to a person who needs someone to listen and guide them until the problem is solved. They are unaware of time, and often do not care how much resources are used, as long as the person is getting better. Unfortunately someone some times needs to keep an eye on both time and resources. Also, since these people care only that the person is moving in the right direction they overlook the fact that the person is not there yet. They give people a lot of encouragement and truly believe they can do it. Unfortunately the people they help often fail. This is not a problem for the person with the gift of exhortation, as they will pick up with the person where they are and continue as long as the person is willing. But the person they are exhorting’s failures often affect the group, and exhorters do not always account for this. They could not be good at exhorting (encouraging, but with a practical edge) if they did not believe the person would succeed, but some times it is good to have a more unbiased eye looking at the overall picture. One who can be a little more honest about where the people they are encouraging actually are in life.

When dealing with our adopted children I was the exhorter in the family. When the children left the house and returned to some of their parent’s ways I was crushed. I believed, hoped, that they would not do these things. My other children were relatively unaffected. When I asked why they were not more upset they said, ‘We knew they would go.’ I couldn’t see the reality because I was the one pushing, talking and hoping. My children loved their siblings, but also knew what was currently true. An exhorter though has a tendency to hope, sometimes a little too much.

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