“What is an exhorter?” That was the question I was asked at the Men’s Bible Study after I said, “Tonight I’m going to be an exhorter and not just an encourager.” So, I proceeded to use a little illustration to explain the difference between an encourager and exhorter, and it went something like this:

You are watching a marathon. Runners are passing by you on their long trek of 26 miles. You notice one runner stumble and fall to the ground. He holds his knee in painful agony as blood begins to trickle from a wound resulting from the fall. You see a person run out to him. It is an encourager. He cleans up the wound on the runner’s knee, puts his arm around his shoulder and comforts him with the words, “It’s okay, everything is okay. This happens to all of us at one time or another in life, but you’re going to be alright. As a matter of fact this very same thing happened to me and I’m still alive today. It’s not the end of the world.”

Then you see another person run out to him. It is an exhorter. He pulls the runner off of the ground to his feet, points him toward the finish line as he pushes the runner in that direction and yells “RUN! You can still win this race. It’s not over yet… GET GOING!

Both the encourager and the exhorter care about the runner. The difference is this: The encourager cares about where the runner IS, and the exhorter cares about where the runner IS GOING. We will meet both of these people throughout our lives and we desperately need them both.

Today, you’re in a race, whether you realize it or not. You may have stumbled and fallen along the way, but the race isn’t over. We’ve all fallen at one time or another. So, get back up on your feet and RUN! There’s a finish line to cross and you’ll never get there sitting on the ground nursing your wounds. That’s your “exhortation” for today!

1 Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

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