Do your problems tend to shrink your awareness to only your situation? There’s a way to get out of that cycle of discouragement. Check out the value of focusing on others when we’re feeling down.
“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” I Thessalonians 5:11, NLT
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25, NLT
Here’s some advice that sounds backwards, “When you are discouraged or struggling, encourage someone else.” God’s ways are often upside down from the ways of society. Scripture frequently encourages us to encourage others…and that advice is not dependent upon us feeling good about what’s going on with us at the time. We are taught to follow Jesus’ example of loving people unconditionally. We’re also to encourage others no matter how we are feeling. The practical paradox is that encouraging others actually does positive things for our attitude. It gives us greater bandwidth to face whatever difficulty we are facing.
Here’s some advice that sounds backwards, when you are discouraged or struggling, encourage someone else.
Do a quick assessment. How many times this week did I encourage people? How much am I encouraging my family members? People at work? Friends? I’m sure you like to be encouraged. Choose to give others the very thing that you enjoy. And remember…showing concern and encouragement for others when they are struggling is one of the ways that we can better rise above the times when we are struggling and discouraged. Let your hard times be a trigger for you to look around to encourage someone else.
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