Therefore encourage one another and build each other up….I Thessalonians 5:11
For me, when I read this verse and think about it I always think about words. I’m super sensitive when it comes to words. Say a word of discouragement to me and it can send me reeling for days. If you’ve ever heard of The 5 Love Languages mine is words of affirmation. So much so I have had to learn that others hurtful words do not determine my own self worth.
I said I wasn’t going to blog much this week. I have so much I need to be working on and so many projects I’d like to do, but as I was taking my 3 mile walk yesterday and listening to praise and worship music some thoughts and prayers for a friend kept coming to my mind.
I have a friend who has a gift and a dream of using this gift. When I see this friend use their gift there is no doubt it’s God given.
Have you ever met a person and witnessed them using their gift and you know without a doubt that it’s what God put them on this earth to do?
Have you ever experienced someone using their gift and been brought closer to God because of it?
That’s my friend. Seriously. And I believe that friend is in a place to use this gift.
I’m not deeply involved with this friend’s situation. I pretty much just witness it from the outside looking in. But there’s one aspect of this situation that has brought this friend to my prayers as it did during my walk Monday.
I see someone trying to hold them back from their gift. It worries me how much this discourages my friend. How much it frustrates this friend.
And then it brought me to even more thoughts.
Does my own jealousy of another’s gift cause me to be a discouragement to them? Of course I wouldn’t do it in a deliberate way, but does my noncommital response, slight word, or even lack of actions send messages of discouragement?
Do I encourage others and build them up through my actions and help their gift shine? Or do I discourage the dreams God has given others by what I say and do or what I don’t say and don’t do? Jealousy is such an ugly and destructive thing.
So my thoughts and prayers for this friend the past couple of days have brought me to a bit of introspection. Do I hold others back from their gift? Does my jealousy get in the way of being the encourager God would have me be? Do I encourage them to take that leap and allow God to use the gift he has given them?
I would love to hear your thoughts on how you handle these situations. How you encourage friends who are being discouraged and how you keep your own jealousy from becoming a discouragement to others.