“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a person’s gift is prophecy, let him use it in proportion to his faith, If it is serving, let her serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging let her encourage…” Romans 12: 6-8. (NIV with Lee paraphrase)
What’s your gift? Romans 12 promises that we are given gifts according to God’s graceful giving. You, my friends are gifted people.
I love the fact that we have different gifts, but I will confess that I covet other’s gifts–wanting their abilities. And while I believe we each naturally perform one grace more easily than another, I know the Holy Spirit empowers us as we need. Nevertheless, I’ve always loved to encourage people, and I don’t understand people who don’t.
My heart beats encouragement. It’s my love language. I give it, and I need it. Encouraging others encourages me. It’s my drug of choice.
So, when I read Romans 12:8, …if it is encouraging, let her encourage, I jump up and down with my hand raised, “Ooh, ooh! pick me! That’s me! Put me in the game coach!”
But I did some digging into the ancient text that expanded my understanding of the gift of parakaleo. This Greek word has more meaning than our English word conveys. According to Strongs:
Parakaleo: from para (to the side of) and kaleo (to call). To aid, help, comfort, encourage…; parakletos, a counselor, advocate, comforter. (Key-Word Study Bible NIV, 1659).
As I read the definition, a friend’s face popped in my mind. She is a gifted counselor. She’s not an “official” counselor yet. But I have benefited through the years from her wise counsel. She knows the questions to ask. She doesn’t just encourage me; she leads me to answers I need without giving them. She encourages me, comforts me when I’m having a bad day, and advocates for me in prayer. She is a parakletos. And her parakaleo is life-giving because she partners with The Parakletos–the Holy Spirit.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor (Parakletos) to be with you forever. (John 14:16 NIV)
Perhaps the better translation of this gift is “counsel.”
How I would love to have this gift too. Once in awhile I do, but not always, and when wise counseling words do come out of my mouth, I know it’s from the Holy Spirit. I’m often surprised myself…and relieved God came through.
Maybe the best part about these gifts is that we each can grow and learn from one another. It’s vital for you to know that God crafted you just the way He wanted for a much greater purpose than you can imagine. But our gifts are only manifested by His Spirit and as we surrender to His cause.
Counsel. (comfort, encourage, advocate)
Show mercy (help those in need.)
What gift do you lean toward? What gift do you want?
See you Faith Friday!
Check out the great blogs on these link parties! Thanks Juana and Rachel!
I find your words to be encompassing of all of these qualities. Thank you for sharing your gifts. Your blog does bring me daily encouragement and increased faith ~
Thanks Cami! How long has it been? I’m so thankful my blog encourages you. Thanks for reading and leaving this comment. You blessed me. :)