I opened my Facebook today to find a message from a single gal that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for many years. She’s a delightful young lady. Apparently, even though she’s single, she’s seen His message in the midst of what He has me doing, and wanted to let me know that today.
Seems like secular business isn’t the only place people only talk to you if there’s a problem…ministry is fraught with injurous communication, much of it hurtful, under the guise of “speaking the Truth in love.”
A friend of mine let me know once that a guest of hers at a coffee she hosted actually said to her, “Speaking the truth in love, I just want you to know your little rug in your bathroom doesn’t match the wallpaper.”
Recently, I’ve experienced a few of these types of comments, one in particular that stings the most was about “The Respect Dare.” “Those stories aren’t true – there’s no way xyz and xyz actually happened to someone.”
What the reader didn’t know was that the stories were true – and that they happened to me.
I was tempted to wallow in self-pity at being called a liar, which cut my heart to the quick. It’s tough to stay encouraged in your calling when the arrow slingers are supposed to be your team mates.
At any rate, my encouragement-parched soul lapped up my sweet friend’s encouragement via Facebook message today. My husband gone, our ministry team swamped, and lots of end-of-the-school-year deadlines to meet, I desperately needed some encouragement.
And God knew.
And my sweet sister allowed Him to love me through her.
In all of the training classes we do, we teach people how to affirm, and have them do it. Not a lot, but I have been told that “forcing” our class members to give affirmation is insincere and basically wrong. I disagree. Yes, it’s uncomfortable if you aren’t used to doing it. But so is anything new. If I waited til I “felt like” respecting my husband, I would have waited a long time because my feelings were reflecting my perceptions, which were wrong – God’s Word is God’s Word. It’s True, and worthy of obedience whether I feel like it or not.
And think about all the communication you muddle through and experience in a given day – how much of it spurs you on? My guess is that you, like most people, are not feeling “over-appreciated.” The Bible is very clear that we should spur each other on, encourage one another, build each other up…check here for more on that…
Unfortunately, we seldom give people the benefit of the doubt, rarely ask a question to clarify, and more often than not, get too much of our exercise by jumping to conclusions – all of which is relatively discouraging to experience.
What’s amazing is the way He designed encouragement – if we would but do it, we would also discover WE get filled as well – not that this should ever be reason to do it, but it is a wonderful side benefit. But that’s just like Him. 🙂
This afternoon, I finally had the opportunity to get out in a field on the back of a horse. God used that time to personally encourage me through His creation. I too often forget to take care of myself and do the things that fill me up – and physically benefit me. Riding horses helps my hip pain. And it’s good for my soul. And it’s better than a computer any day. 🙂
Dare you today to do two things: 1) intentionally encourage and affirm someone, and 2) do something to take care of yourself (not being selfish, but caring for the temple). Double dog dare you to make those things habits.
It’s good for the Kingdom. 🙂
And it gives feet to your faith.
Glad to be on the journey with you. 🙂
Love to you,