9 Thought-Provoking Traits of the Gift of Exhortation

This post is all about the spiritual gift of exhortation

The spiritual gift of exhortation is often overlooked.😢

In this post, I list 9 thought-provoking characteristics of the gift of exhortation. I will go over each one in this blog post.

I will also look at bible verses about exhortation, potential career paths, a questionnaire, and many more exciting topics!

May God bless you as you learn more about this powerful spiritual gift!

My personal take

I want to explain how this post started…

My tagline on my blog is “Motivation,” and on YouTube, it’s “Motivate.” I for sure know that I have a knack for encouraging people. That has been in me since I was young. So, I know I have that gift to encourage. ❤️

However, I’ve been praying to God for revelation regarding this gift of exhortation. Thus, I researched and compiled this blog post.

I essentially wanted clarification from God as to whether I have the gift so that I can shepherd it.

If you are in the same boat, wondering…you are in good company!

I come to you not as an authority, but as a fellow peer trying to figure it together with you.🌸

I trust that at the end of this blog post, you will have received a lot of direction on your next actionable steps!

Ready to dive in?… let’s go!

The spiritual gift of exhortation meaning

What is exhortation?

The spiritual gift of exhortation is given to believers to encourage and build up other believers. It’s an essential gift that should be used carefully.

Exhortation is a powerful tool that God has given us to help build up the Body of Christ. It is one of the gifts listed in Romans 12:

Romans 12:8 (KJV) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Exhortation vs encouragement

When it comes to the spiritual gift of exhortation, many people are not quite sure what it is. In fact, many people mistake this gift for the gift of encouragement, but they are actually two different gifts.

Encouragement and exhortation are two words that are often confused with one another. People (and some bible translations) sometimes use the terms interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings.

  1. Exhortation is the act of teaching someone how to apply biblical principles in their life. On the other hand, encouragement is the act of motivating someone to take action. Encouragers give people hope and support and help them see that they can do what God has called them to do.
  2. Another key difference is that exhortation also involves giving direction, often with a sense of urgency. It may also include rebuke, but it should always aim to correct and improve behavior. The goal is restoration and repentance. On the other hand, encouragement is typically less directive and more positive. It’s designed to build up someone who is struggling.

Note! Both exhorters and encouragers are vital in the church, and both gifts are essential for building up the body of Christ.

Once we go through the characteristics in the next section, you will be able to understand this better.

9 Thought-Provoking Characteristics of the spiritual gift of exhortation

exercising the gift of exhortation

There are many characteristics of the spirit of exhortation, but I want to highlight 9.

The 9 essential characteristics of the exhortation spiritual gift are:

1. Practicality

Exhorters are people of practical application yet are very result-oriented. Everything they do must be done on a practical basis. This practicality comes from a desire to teach people to solve problems and make the necessary changes to be a more mature Christian.

2. Result orientation

Exhorters are always looking for ways to help people grow spiritually. They are not content with just teaching spiritual truths but want to see people put them into practice.

3. Teaching ability

Exhorters have a gift for teaching others how to apply the Scriptures to their lives. They can take complex concepts and make them understandable to others.

4. Problem-solving ability

Exhorters are gifted at helping people solve their problems. They have a knack for finding practical solutions to difficult situations.

5. Encouragement

Exhorters are gifted at encouraging others. They have a way of making people feel good about themselves and helping them see the potential for growth in their lives.

6. Ability to relate to others

Exhorters are able to connect with people on a deep level. They are able to see the best in others and build relationships of trust.

7. Focused on people

Exhorters are focused on helping people grow spiritually. They are not interested in personal glory or recognition.

8. Motivating

Exhorters have a way of motivating others to become more like Christ. They challenge people to reach their full potential in Christ.

9. Gift of discernment

Exhorters can discern the spiritual gifts of others and help them use those gifts for the glory of God. They also have a knack for discerning which teachings are from God and which ones are from man. This gift helps them to guide people in their spiritual growth.

Why mentorship of gifts is important

When it comes to the spiritual gift of exhortation, mentorship is key. In order to shepherd this gift effectively, we need to be disciples of those who have gone before us. We can learn so much from those who are gifted in exhortation, and we can grow in our own gifts as we are discipled by them.

The Bible is full of verses that talk about the importance of mentorship.

  • For example, Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with the wise becomes wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” As we walk alongside those wiser than us, we will grow in wisdom.
  • And Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” As we submit to the authority of those in leadership positions, we will find our own work to be a joy, not a burden.

The Bible is also full of examples of mentorship relationships that have led to growth in the spiritual gifts God has given us.

  • Moses disciples Joshua, and we see the fruit of that discipleship in Joshua leading Israel into the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 31:23).
  • Paul disciples Timothy, and we see the fruit of that discipleship in Timothy becoming a leader in the church (Philippians 2).

Let’s pray for God to raise up godly mentors for us, and let’s be willing to disciple others in the gift of exhortation.

We will see the Lord grow His church through this vital spiritual gift as we do so.

Shepherding your spiritual gift of exhortation

One of the most important things you can do as a Christian is to shepherd your spiritual gifts. This means using them in a way that glorifies God and builds up His church. It also means using them in a way that edifies yourself and others.

  1. One way to do this is by studying the Bible. As you read, ask God to help you understand what His Word says about exhortation.
  2. Another way to develop these qualities is by practicing them. If you want to be more encouraging, start by praising others for their accomplishments. If you want to be more compassionate, start by helping someone in need.

The most important thing is to remember that you are not perfect, and you will make mistakes. When this happens, humble yourself and ask God for forgiveness. Then get back up and keep on serving Him.

The spiritual gift of exhortation is a powerful tool that God has given us to build up His church. As we shepherd this gift, we can make a difference in the lives of others. Let’s commit ourselves to use it in a way that will honor God and bring glory to His name.

Strengths and weaknesses of an exhorter

The strengths of an exhorter are that they have a passionate heart for God, are authentic and transparent, and have a convicting presence.

Regarding the weaknesses, I am still researching this one. I assume that it can be different from person to person. I will circle back and update the post if I find anything.

Ultimately, exhorters must learn to balance their strengths with their weaknesses in order to shepherd this spiritual gift effectively. If they can do this, they will be effective leaders and shepherds of the spiritual gift of exhortation

Do you have the spiritual gift of exhortation?

These few questions will help you to start thinking about this gift. It’s by no means an exhaustive questionnaire.

Ultimately, I believe you need to be in the secret place, in prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit if you have this gift. Request confirmation.

Gift of Exhortation Questionnaire:

  • Do people often come to you for encouragement?
  • Do you have a heart for helping others apply biblical principles to their lives?
  • Do you have a gift for building up the body of Christ?
  • Do people often come to you for help in times of difficulty?
  • Do you have a heart for encouraging others in their walk with God?

If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, you likely have the spiritual gift of exhortation. Thank you for using your gift to build up the body of Christ!

If you didn’t answer yes to most or all of these questions, don’t worry… This isn’t an exhaustive questionnaire. Spend time in the quiet place to find out more about your giftings. You can still use the gifts you know to bless others in the name of Jesus (as you get revelation on the exhortation gift).

Who in the Bible had the gift of exhortation?

how to use the spiritual gift of exhortation

Let’s look at 5 Bible characters who I personally believe had this gift and learn how they used it to change lives.

I will highlight different aspects of this gift, so I may use “encourage” in some instances.

1. Paul

Paul was known for his powerful speeches that encouraged and inspired people to follow Jesus. One of his most famous exhortations is found in Romans 12:21, where he says “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” This verse is a perfect example of the type of encouragement that Paul regularly gave to people. He knew that the battle against evil was difficult, but he also knew that good could always overcome it.

2. Barnabas

Barnabas was known for his great kindness and encouragement. He was one of the first people to believe in Saul (later known as Paul) after his conversion experience. He also encouraged the early church in their faith and helped to spread the gospel message. (Acts 11:23) “When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.”

3. James

James was known for his great wisdom and understanding. He was also a powerful preacher and wrote many letters that are included in the New Testament. James encourages people to live a life of faith and obedience in his letters. He also warns them about the dangers of temptation and sin. James (James 5:7-11) “We encourage you, brothers and sisters, to be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Look forward to it with joy, because you know that the Lord’s coming is near.”

4. Deborah

Deborah was a prophetess and judge in Israel. She was known for her incredible courage, strength, and wisdom. She used her gift of exhortation to encourage the people of Israel to obey God and fight against their enemies.

5. John the Baptist

John was known for his outstanding courage and faithfulness to God. He preached a message of repentance and forgiveness and encouraged people to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ. He also exhorted the people to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized in order to receive forgiveness.

Each of these people used their gift of exhortation to encourage others in their faith and help them live a pleasing life to God. If you have this gift, use it to the best of your ability to encourage and build up other people. God will use you to make a difference in their lives.

Bible Verses About Exhortation

Although some of these verses don’t explicitly say exhortation, it talks about its characteristics.

“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13 (KJV)

“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (KJV)

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV)

Quotes about the gift of exhortation

“Exhortation is one of the most important and neglected gifts in the church.”

Dr. Tim Keller

“The gift of exhortation is a gracious ministry through which God’s people are helped to live holy lives.”

Sinclair Ferguson

“The exhorter, who has the gift of exhortation, is an encourager. He or she is someone who builds up and encourages other people, especially in times of difficulty.”

John MacArthur

“The exhorter is the one who helps others to apply biblical principles to their lives.”

Wayne Grudem

“The gift of exhortation is given to some believers for the purpose of building up the body of Christ.”

Charles Stanley

“The gift of exhortation is one that should be used to encourage other believers in their walk with God.”

Beth Moore

“The spiritual gift of exhortation is a powerful tool to help build up the church.”

Rick Warren

Spiritual gift of exhortation careers

People with the gift of exhortation can use their gift in various ways, depending on their job or career path.

For example, pastors, teachers, missionaries, and counselors can all use their gifts to encourage others in their faith. They can also help people apply biblical truths to their lives, which can help them grow in their relationship with God.

 In addition, people with the gift of exhortation can also play an essential role in the church by helping to build up the body of Christ. This can be done by teaching others about God’s Word, encouraging them in their faith, and praying for them.

Ultimately, people with the gift of exhortation can use their gift to make a difference in the lives of others and further the gospel.

And that’s it, folks, all about the spiritual gift of exhortation!

I now understand that exhortation is a spiritual gift that should be shepherded with care and responsibility. One can’t take it lightly.

It’s essential to make sure that the exhorter is humble and balanced in their approach. They should also be willing to listen more than they talk. The goal is to help people grow in their faith, not control or manipulate them.

Exhortation is an important gift, and when it’s used correctly, it can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

May we all be careful to shepherd this gift with love and humility.


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8 thoughts on “9 Thought-Provoking Traits of the Gift of Exhortation”

  1. I recently was told by a patient’s husband that I had the gift of exhortation. I never gave much thought to what my gifting was. I have always said that I have a cheerleaders heart,but never connected it to exhortation or really knew what the word meant. After reading this blog, I do believe that this is my gift. Thank you for the work put into this writing. I am encouraged to take a deeper dive in and prayerfully figure out what the Lord wants me to do with this new found revelation.

    • Donna! This is absolutely amazing that you have this gift. I pray that the Lord directs you on how you can utilize it, the world really needs people like you.

      When you said “cheerleader” it reminds me of Terri Savelle Foy who also calls herself “cheerleader of dreams” I believe she has this gift of exhortation to specifically sharpen people’s vision and God-given purpose. I praise the Lord for you- Donna “cheerleader”. May the Lord bless you and increase you. I pray that the blessings of Deuteronomy 28:1-12 become your portion as you walk in this gifting!

  2. I have taken 2 spiritual gift tests, and I seem to score the highest on Exhortation. This blog really helped me understand it, and now I know the importance of it serving in the Body of Christ. God Bless you!

    • Wow!!! This is super awesome! What a lovely gift. I’m so happy that this blog post clarified for you- woo hoo! Praise God. I pray that the Lord guides you to shepherd it. Many people need the impact of your gift. Hearts and Hugs, Heather

  3. All I can say is WOW!! For many, many years I prayed and ask God to give me compassion. I didn’t know why but now I do. I have been walking in the gift of exhortation and didn’t realize it! This article certainly highlights what I have been doing all these years in the spirit of humility! To God be all the glory! Thank you so much for the beautiful blog! Now I will pray that God cultivates this much needed gift in the body of Christ and the world! Kingdom blessings to all of God’s children!

    • Hello Pat! Wow indeed! Praise God for your discovery…the gift of exhortation was truly inside you all this time! I’m glad to hear you have also been walking all along with this gift…with humility! May the Lord continue to give you discernment and revelation as you continue to steward this gift. Blessings to you. Hearts and hugs, Heather.


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