When the Encourager Needs Encouragement
- Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Both your productivity and relationships will suffer if you can’t handle stress well. You may even need to delegate some responsibilities to another family member or co-worker. Just like a car, you can’t run on empty very long and get very far.
One year after major surgery I felt discouraged when my body took longer than I wanted to recover. But a friend gave me some praise tapes and encouraged me to rest without guilt and just “let God love me” for awhile. Each time I hear one of those tunes, I still remember what a healing balm that music brought to my body and soul.
3. Talk to a Trusted Friend or Loved One
Most of us don’t like to admit weakness. What will people think? Swallow your pride and expectations of yourself, and find a good friend who will listen objectively. We have this mistaken notion that people will think less of us as Christians if we can’t handle every situation in our lives perfectly. But the Bible reminds us that in our weakness we are made strong. “Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10, NLT).
Two Are Better Than One
John Donne’s famous quote, “No man is an island,” is true. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NAS) says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.” That’s why it’s so important to be part of a body of people who love the Lord, ones who will pray for you, and help share your burden. Even the ones in leadership need accountability friends: non-judgmental servants who can listen objectively and offer encouragement.
If you’re married, your own spouse can be an encourager for you. Too often, couples try to hide their flaws and weaknesses from each other, instead of admitting and working on them together. Learn how to build each other up, to listen without being defensive, and to offer gentle encouragement that leads to helpful solutions, without feeling the need to bring a permanent “fix.”
Only God can bring the healing our minds, bodies, and spirits need. But He also uses people as His instruments to guide us in the right direction.
Whether you’re struggling with work related stress, family challenges, physical problems, or other personal issues, you can’t carry your own burdens for long without buckling under the weight. Give yourself a break. Soak yourself in God ‘s Word and let Him “love” on you awhile. Take time to rest and recharge, and seek out the encouragement you need for yourself from someone you trust. You’ll feel the difference–and others will, too.
A Personal Prayer for You
Lord, when we’re spent and weary of trying so hard, You are the One who encourages us. Teach us how to depend on You, to rest in You, and to bask in the sweetness of Your presence. Help us to be wise with the time and resources You have given us, and to be content in each day’s tasks. Forgive us for the pride that prevents us from finding Your healing. Thank You for giving us friends and loved ones to help share our burdens. Most of all, thank You, Lord, for loving us just as we are.
It’s Your Turn to Comment: What about you? As an encourager, how have you found encouragement for yourself?
©2012, Rebecca Barlow Jordan. Used by Permission, All Rights Reserved.
For more from Rebecca, please visit www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com. To sign up for Rebecca's new encouraging blog/newsletter, or to purchase her newest devotional books from Zondervan - Day-votions™ for Women, Day-votions™ for Mothers, and Day-votions™ for Grandmothers - please click here.
Publication date: September 4, 2012
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