You must be saying, “But we cannot avoid discouragements!” True, in fact, as much as we cannot predict what will happen in a year, a month or a week, we cannot assume we will not experience anything discouraging in a DAY. But how do we react when we are discouraged? Usually, how long do you stay feeling the way you do after the particular incident “caused” you to be discouraged?
This entry was inspired by the preaching of Pastor Bong. It opened my eyes that our feelings CAN BE masters of our emotions if we are careless enough to ignore it or worse, ALLOW it.
I don’t know about yours but in my society, girls are usually given the license to have different moods. One moment she’s all happy and sweet, and another due to a disappointing phone call at work, she seemed to have lost all the right to smile. And there may also be occasions when a girl would be grumpy in the morning, but hyper and energetic in the afternoon. This is not generalizing that all women are this way; nor are we EXCLUDING men from these examples. This is also not to point out the difference of a night person from a morning person. But for you and I to see that if we are to be in tune with our emotions, how we feel determines the way we act.
As I reflected on Pastor Bong’s message, I am continuously learning what DISCOURAGEMENT does to our thoughts, attitudes and personalities. These are things we don’t notice but truly AFFECT not only ourselves but people around us as well; if not more.
1. BLINDS OUR HOPE.
As the saying goes, Tis too shall pass. Or in a recent movie I enjoyed (3 Idiots), they say, “All IZZ WELL”. Hope for me is having the confidence that given the strength to carry on today, tomorrow will be okay.
Discouragement however tells you, “You have done everything you could to make this better, and still, THIS HAPPENS. This is as good as it will get.”
2. CAUSES DEPRESSION.
Once you have lost hope, depression normally follows. This is the time when you don’t feel like doing anything, when you just feel like sulking or when you couldn’t take your mind off that feeling that you lost; you failed.
You see when you’re depressed, your world only revolves around that experience.
3. REVEALS WRONG PERCEPTION OF OTHERS.
When we are discouraged or disappointed at someone, it is inevitable that a critical view of that person is thought or said.
“He forgot to flush the toilet?”
“Again?!”. “He’s doing it on purpose!”
“He’s such a slow learner”.
“Say what, you daughter answered you back?”
“She’s not walking with the Lord”. “She’s definitely the black sheep in the family!”
Discouragement blows up the negativity of what the person did. And it blurs the TRUTH of who the person is. Many times erases the GOOD (for that moment), what the person has done.
4. Exposes our selfishness.
Last but not the least, discouragement exposes our selfishness. This may be hard to see because of our pride to win in an argument, or the pride to prove that we are right. But it is true. You became discouraged or disappointed because you expected something from someone and it DID NOT HAPPEN. Ultimately, that feeling came about because what YOU WANT was not fulfilled.
I remember the number of times I was disappointed over the waking hours of a loved one. I knew it was making him slow, tensed and loaded because of it. At first, the motive of my rebuke or encouragements were out of compassion. Yet, this was a cycle I witnessed. I experienced all 3 mentioned above: Losing hope, Being unreasonably sad and critical. I knew that this feeling was taking over my compassion, and faith towards this person. I surrendered and let God teach me something. Then I saw myself as a Pharisee who couldn’t see that log in my eye and was focusing on the speck in my neighbor’s eye. I was proud.
Discouragements and disappointments are inevitable. But remembering that our God is merciful, forgiving, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, who are we to LOSE HOPE in that child who disobeys us? To be depressed over the fact that we haven’t saved enough to buy a house after all these years? How proud and critical are we to judge our friends when they are tempted? And most of all, how quick are we to reflect and look at our motives in our actions?
Sow a thought, reap an act.
Sow an act, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a character.
SOW HUMILITY, REAP THE FACE OF GOD.