Finding our way through discouragement is a key to success in life. It is certainly key to our success in leadership. Leadership is always standing at the door of any project; any forward movement in our lives. Many open the door too easily to this unwelcome visitor.
Most of us would never allow a stranger to enter our home without some hesitation, yet many Christians allow discouragement to enter far too easily and make itself at home. How do we rid ourselves of this unwelcome guest and close the door on it once and for all?
- Watch your thought life. We sometimes think that we must hang on to every thought that crosses through our mind. But some experts tell us that nearly 80% of what we think about on a normal day is a lie! WE lie to ourselves constantly. Sometimes we hear voices from our past that tell us things that are untrue. Unhook yourself from unhealthy thoughts. Talk to yourself… out loud if necessary… to clean up unhealthy thinking patterns. Tell yourself the truth!
- Keep your perspective. Sometimes discouragement comes when we focus on the wrong thing in the wrong light. The workers on the wall in Nehemiah became discouraged when they focused on the rubble around them. In reality the rubble piles were getting smaller… but from their perspective the piles were growing larger!
- Surround yourself with people that encourage you. So many of us spend our lives around negative, gossiping, critical people that we get immersed in their discouragement. Distance yourself from the critic. Bring people into your inner circle who build you up.
- Encourage yourself in the Lord. Sometimes discouragement enters our lives due to a spiritual vacuum… we are not spending enough time filling ourselves with GOD’S WORD or thoughts about the Lord. Discouragement will not leave us alone simply because we try to stop being discouraged… but when we fill ourselves with encouragement that God provides freely.
FOR MEDITATION: Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
FOR REFLECTION: Discouragement needs your permission to enter your mind… the next time it knocks on the door, let Jesus answer for you!