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Posts Tagged ‘appreciation’

Pray for encouragement and strength because it is these two elements that give what is needed to “stand firm and hold fast” [vs 2:15]. So simple: deep power comes from encouragement. I know this, but I don’t use it nearly enough . . . for myself.

II Thessalonians 2:16-17
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

I’m pretty good at encouraging others, particularly in a work environment. I believe in extolling the virtues of my staff and acknowledging a job well done. That’s important. And I mean it. I do appreciate the work, whether great or small, that each person contributes to the process.

I am not as good with myself. I hear the other voice instead, that internal condemnation voice. Even when everything goes well, if there is one flaw or one mistake, the experience can be ruined for me. I push hard. And the voice is good at pointing out my errors, flaws, and missteps.

Worse still, I don’t accept encouragement from others very well either, even though I need it. I crave it. But I don’t believe in its authenticity. I may cast off encouragement because I don’t trust the one who is offering it or I don’t trust the intentions or that person’s knowledge of the circumstances.

It’s a sad situation. People like me, people with a lot of natural confidence don’t appear to need encouragement, but that’s all a sham.

So, here are some things that need to happen, to change in me. First, I must use more energy to disregard the evil voice and allow the Holy Spirit to encourage me and thereby receive strength from within. This is the most important source. Secondly, I must open the doors of my heart to the words of others and look for the good in them. Lastly, although I do speak encouragement and strength and even pray for those in my care, I am not as good at encouraging those above me. It’s the same trap. I have assumed they don’t need it from me just as others have assumed it about me.

Praise and acknowledgment are easy. Prayers of encouragement for others even easier, but will gain even more power if followed by words and practices of good will.

If you are reading this post today, I thank you and want you to know that all will be well. There is hope today because God is sovereign. There is a moment still to come that will speak love to you. There is a person whose touch will remind you of your value. There is a breath. And from all of these things, gain courage to stand firm and hold fast to the truth of your worth.

Live loved.

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John 4:44
Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.

Face it, sometimes we aren’t appreciated in our own backyard. It’s one of the reasons companies come up with little awards to recognize achievement. It’s not that people aren’t doing extraordinary things all the time, we stop noticing. It’s hard to step away and realize that our colleague, our neighbor, our friend, or even a family member has done something noteworthy. We expect everyone to behave the same way they always have. And, in the end, our expectations are unconsciously placing some pressure on others to never change.

How many times have people said about you (or you about someone else), “oh, she’s always late,” or “he’s clueless,” or “she never remembers …. whatever.” All of these ‘always’ and ‘never’ statements come out of expectations.

I think Jesus resorted to miracles initially to “get their attention.” He had to shake things up. Of course, then the miracles became the norm and everyone expected a miracle. For Jesus, it was a balancing act. I’m pretty sure this is one reason that Jesus never performed the same miracle twice in the same way. It would have become a “method” instead of an intent, a prayer, a gift.

I want to look at the people around me today with fresh eyes. I think there are lots of miracles happening around me already and I haven’t noticed. “Lord, open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things in your word.” [Psalm 119:18] … and the wonderful things that others do and achieve today. Help me to see the gifts of their presence in my life.

For myself, I ask the Lord to help me let go of “wanting or looking to be appreciated.” Let me, instead, bask in the light of Your love and hear your voice tell me, “well done, good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:23]

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