Since I have started blogging I realize that there is a difference between “teaching” and “encouragement,” especially in writing and speaking. I want to reflect on this a bit today.
6 But we have gifts that differ and which are meant to be used according to the grace that has been given to us. If your gift is prophecy, use it to the extent of your trust; 7 if it is serving, use it to serve; if you are a teacher, use your gift in teaching; 8 if you are a counselor, use your gift to comfort and exhort; if you are someone who gives, do it simply and generously; if you are in a position of leadership, lead with diligence and zeal; if you are one who does acts of mercy, do them cheerfully. (CJB)
When I read this I asked myself, “Wait! What happened to encouragement?” I choose to use the Complete Jewish Bible most times because I believe it takes us back to a more “original intent” of the teachings of Jesus. It brings a completeness to the Words God spoke in the Old Testament.
In this verse it does not use the word, “encouragement.” This translation chooses to use the word, “counselor.” This person is challenged to use his/her gift to “comfort and exhort.”
Personally, I see myself in this role. I view myself as someone who wants to comfort people, but also challenge or exhort them to move forward. This would be considered a form of “encouragement.” I enjoy writing short little paragraphs with Word from the Bible to comfort or exhort those around me.
A teacher is someone who brings information and knowledge to a subject. My husband is a great teacher. He retains information, and is able to share it in ways that people remember, and understand, what is usually difficult to comprehend. He brings teachings and writings that contain useful information for discipleship and strengthen the body.
These differences come across in our writings and our speaking. How he presents ideas and thoughts is different than how I share them. It is clear that we have different gifts and abilities. When I help edit his writings, I must put aside my way of addressing a topic so that his gift shines through. He does the same for me.
The Word of God makes it clear that we all have different gifts. These gifts must work together for the community of faith to function properly. It is learning how to use our uniqueness for His Kingdom purposes. It is learning how to work with others as they use their gifts for His glory.
I challenge you today, don’t be afraid to use your gift. If you are using it for HIS purposes, yes, there will be pain because not everyone will accept it all the time, but let us learn how to work together. We are called according to HIS plan and purpose, so let us honor Him by using our gifts.
When we are able to use our gift for His purposes, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.
Love and blessings,