July 20th, 2012 | By admin
This is an article via Paul Holland. We all need encouragement.
We all need to hear encouraging words. What happens if the encouraging words do not come? What if people – even family or Christians – do not encourage us when we need it? It can be discouraging and hurtful. What do we do?
Pretend we don’t need them. But that’s a lie – it is self-deception. It creates in us a “martyr complex”. We start feeling like a victim. It may help us feel good for a while, but it will have devastating results on our inter-personal relationships if we continue in that mentality.
“Toot our own horns.” Have you heard it said, “If you don’t toot your own horn, no one else will”? Proverbs 27:2.
“I’ll show them! I’ll do even more where they have to notice me!” But that usually backfires. Paul was not praised for preaching without pay. He was criticized for it – 1 Corinthians 9. The Pharisees did not commend Jesus for His miracles – they tried to kill Him for them. Plus, again, if done very much or for very long, it leads us to do things to be seen of men, which is what Jesus condemned in Matthew 6 – three times.
“Nobody appreciates me. I won’t be hurt again. I’ll just quit!” Quitting is not an option. Consider God’s promise in Galatians 6:9 and Colossians 3:23-24. We are His workmanship – Ephesians 2:10. We can’t quit being who we are in Christ.
What if people – even family or Christians – do not encourage us when we need it? It can be discouraging and hurtful. What do we do?
1. Remember God does not forget what we do. Hebrews 6:10. Jesus is right now, preparing a place for those who serve Him – John 14:1-4. The day of judgment will be a day of great reward.
2. We should examine our own hearts and our own motives. Luke 17:5-10. We do not serve God for the praise of men. God does not owe us any praise.
3. We can encourage ourselves in the Lord. 1 Samuel 30:6. How? Prayer – 1 Samuel 30:8. Remembering God’s good deeds from the past. Sang psalms.
4. Work to prevent the absence of encouragement. 1 Samuel 23:16. These were friends. No doubt Jonathan felt this way about David because David felt that way about Jonathan. Proverbs 18:24. We need a Jonathan in our lives. Christian friends are the best.
5. We can invite encouragement by being encouragers. Galatians 6:7-8.
From Bill Bagents’ chapter “When Good Words Don’t Come” in the book Easing Life’s Hurts, written by Bagents and Jack Wilhelm.