THE BLESSING OF ENCOURAGEMENT
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:1
Did you know a lot of us play Whack-a-Mole with our spouse and our children? We notice every wrong thing that pops up in them, and we quickly whack them for it. We are so adept at seeing the negative. We are so good at beating down those we supposedly love. The sad truth about playing Whack-a-Mole is this: eventually those we love stop popping up; they just give up. Their attitude is understandable as they quietly whisper, "What's the use of trying anymore. It is obvious that there is nothing I can do to please my dad (or my mom or my spouse)."
PUT AWAY THE MALLET
If you have been guilty of playing Whack-a-Mole, the time is now to put away the mallet. Take time TODAY to let your spouse, your children, your loved ones know that you are proud of them. Be observant of what those special people in your life do well and praise them for it. People respond to positive encouragement much better than they do constant correction and criticism. Isn't that true of you? I know it is of me.
What if Jesus played Whack-a-Mole with us? How could we ever make it? We would be beaten into total despair. But Jesus doesn't deal with us that way. He gently and patiently works with us, convicting of us sin while encouraging us with His love and grace. When you fall and fail, He is quick to reach out His hand of forgiveness to pull you out of the ditch of discouragement and get you back on the narrow road with Him. In Psalm 130:3-4, the Psalmist said, "If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared." Aren't you glad of that?
REAL ENCOURAGEMENT FOR REAL LIFE
If you are prone to beat yourself up over faults and failures, if you are prone to discouragement because of the negatives you see in your own life, let me recommend my new book, REAL ENCOURAGEMENT FOR REAL LIFE. I believe this book will be a great help in your relationship with God so you can truly walk by faith and not by sight. Click here for more details.
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. May God bless you and yours as you look to Him.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.