Everyone experiences good seasons and difficult seasons in their life. It is a given when we are living in a fallen and sinful world that we will face times of hardship and struggle. I often find that when I am struggling and suffering, I am quick to turn all my attention inward. I am so preoccupied by myself and my struggles, I often forget to take time to engage with and encourage those around me.
However, I have found when I do take time to stop focusing all my energy on myself and begin pouring into those around me, it helps lift my spirits as well. Even when I am struggling through things out of my control – one thing I can control is my attitude and perspective. I can spend all my energy feeling bad for myself, questioning why God would allow this hardship in my life, and throw a massive pity party for myself, or I can choose to make the best of a difficult situation. I can focus on what God is trying to teach me and God’s faithfulness in the daily blessings I so often take for granted.
When I chose to focus on the blessings God has faithfully provided, instead of dwelling on my frustrations, God begins to revel His beauty to me through the people around me. When I take time to verbally point out that beauty by genuinely complimenting someone, I get the opportunity to show Christ’s love of his creation and his people. It can be as simple as telling the receptionist at the front desk what a warm and welcoming smile she has. Or telling your boss who noticed an error in your work, that you appreciate their eye for detail and willingness to help you improve.
While it might seem counter intuitive, I often find the times when I am most emotionally worn out is when I most need to begin encouraging those around me. Taking time to focus and encourage someone else, helps shift me out of self-pity mode and gives the other person confidence to continue forward in what God has called them to.
“Anxiety weights down the Heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” -Proverbs 12:25
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash