This week, as we continue to look at spiritual gifts and the book of James, we’ll be talking about exhortation and prophesying. They’re both different from what we expect. Exhortation is the emphatic urging of someone; it’s sometimes called (rather shallowly, in my opinion) spiritual cheerleading. It’s more of speaking a core truth, breathing the Spirit into the world. Prophesying is not predicting the future, but speaking the core truths that others may not know or may not want to hear, speaking from the Spirit into the world. So we get a connection—it’s the hope and faith in the other to do what God is calling them to do.
But let’s not draw a line and say that exhortation is positive and prophesying is realist; or that exhortation points to the best while prophesying points to what needs improvement. Both of these gifts are about honesty—you can honestly believe in what a person is, and in what they’re doing, and still insist that God is working them towards something bigger, better and bolder.
I bring this up because I want you to think about if your gift is exhortation—urging people on, or if it’s prophesying—urging the Reign to grow. We all have that gift, I think—but for some folks, it’s their bread and butter. We’ll be talking about this and so much more this coming Sunday. I promise to go deeper, and I look forward to seeing you then.