My Fitness

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

discourage discouragement

After reading the finished entry, it seems the tone of this post is harsher than I intended. I don't mean to be judgmental. Sometimes things are not accurately conveyed through the internet. Please give me grace as you read this and try not to judge me too harshly!

Discouragement is generally unwelcome. Since getting married and having children I've tried to pour encouragement into Felipe, Caleb, and Micah's lives. Coming from a family where sarcasm and discouragement was considered an achievement and a way to communicate, a language to be fluent in or a (backwards) sign of intelligence, it has taken awhile to reprogram my thinking. I have needed to discourage my discouraging tendencies.

Some people have this constant need to ridicule others and put down any idea not their own. I believe this is a sign of insecurity. When I was insecure, I, too, would try to make other people feel as insecure as I felt. How rude and unloving of me! Thank God for his grace. But this was communication in my family. I even remember coming home for a visit one year, the reprogramming nearly complete, I happened to be in the car when the other four members of my family started speaking very rudely to each other. I said something about it to which my younger sister replied that this was just how they speak to each other and if I was going to live with them then I needed to get used to it. But instead I decided to discourage rudeness.

Pride was the first recorded sin and I believe can be traced to the root of every other sin as well. In my experience proud people are always wrong about themselves. Growing up we had a backward understanding about what pride and humility was. We were all very proud. But if you said that you didn't have some talent that you did in fact have then you were humble. This has adversely affected my life many times. How confusing for a child this must have been! But now I discourage pride in myself.

Over competitiveness is a character trait I simply don't handle well. I've tried to be competitive, but I didn't like it. I knew that I was full of lies and I didn't like the taste of bullying others. I see other people being overly competitive and it is always unbecoming, ugly, and repulsive. I look at those peoples' lives and I think, "no wonder." Caleb watches a children's tv show that sings a song, "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Either way, it's ok. We're just having fun anyway." But when people get competitive over Go Fish and enforce penalties in Charades, it shows their general lack of mercy and grace that runs throughout their souls. So I discourage competitiveness.

If you can't have fun playing a game without seeing your opponents suffer for wrongs committed, check to see if that's a common theme throughout your day. Do you wish to see your fellow men suffer for being born to the wrong family? Do you want those who aren't able to feed their family "deal with it"? I saw a friend's political views as written on facebook say, "Don't take the money I've worked hard for to provide for MY family and give it to someone who won't get off their rear to support theirs!"...If you're a non-Christian conservative I can understand why you might think this. But if you believe that Christ was sent to save sinners even when they can't help themselves, I don't understand this hatred and lack of compassion. Discourage harshness, gracelessness, and lack of mercy.

Encourage love! Whatever is true, or honorable, or just, or pure, or lovely, or commendable, or excellent, or praise-worthy, think on these things (Philippians 4:8). What you have learned and received and heard and seen, that is LOVE, GRACE, COMPASSION, MERCY, practice these things and then the God of peace will be with you! Discourage ungodliness.

What is godliness? Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. The Bible does not say, "Be kind to others as long as they are kind first." The Bible does not say, "Love and take care of the poor as long as they are willing to get a job." The Bible does not say, "Help someone get a job so you don't have to take care of them any more." No, rather the Bible says to love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5) and do good, and lend expecting nothing in return...Be merciful even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6) The Bible says, "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ …‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’" in Matthew 26. Make your peace with God. And if you believe that you can reconcile being given grace and mercy from your sins through the death of Christ on the cross even though he knew and knows that you will sin again and at the same time not help you own brother, that remains between you and God.

Matthew 18

23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished ato settle accounts with his servants.8 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him bten thousand ctalents.9 25 dAnd since he could not pay, his master ordered him eto be sold, with his wife and fchildren and all that he had, and payment to be made.26 So the servant10 gfell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and dforgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundredhdenarii,11 and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.

33 iAnd should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’34 jAnd in anger his master delivered him to the jailers,1 kuntil he should pay all his debt.35 lSo also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brothermfrom your heart.”

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