Encouraging others is one of the things I care more about than nearly anything. I desperately want people, you people, to know your value, that the things you do (no matter how insignificant you deem them to be) are stellar! You rock people’s worlds with your hospitality, your art, your listening ear, your ability to make people laugh…whatever your unique talents and proclivities might be. It matters to me that you know you matter, that you are valuable, that that thing you do is impressive, needed, useful…and recognized.
Since there’s not much I enjoy more than acknowledging and praising these individual gifts to the ones gifted with them, you would think that this compulsion of mine would overflow onto absolutely everyone, wouldn’t you? Surely, it would! Or would it? Actually, it might surprise you as it surprised me to realize that in spite of this overwhelming desire to encourage, there’s one person with whom I never, ever share encouragement. Myself!
Determined as I am to compliment and commend, it seems I’d have seen it before now, but I have finally recognized a sobering reality…I would never criticize someone else like I criticize myself.
I’ve been told I’m too hard on myself, and I’m beginning to see the truth of it. I am my own worst critic. While admiring and acknowledging the treasures in others, looking intently to see precisely what they are, I am looking at all the shortcomings in myself…the faults and weaknesses, the things in need of correction. As a result, negativity occupies far too much space in my mind. It’s exhausting and debilitating. I’ve somehow believed it’s all in the name of improving myself, of eliminating the flawed aspects of my personality, demeanor, and tendencies. Even if it were helping (which I daresay it’s not), it leaves me feeling disheartened. It could even be perpetuating the very problems I’m trying to solve.
So, although an encourager to a fault, I now see that I never encourage myself. It would appear that I need to be a bit more like David.
David encouraged himself in the Lord… I Samuel 30:6
It may seem silly, but as much as I believe with all my heart that everyone needs to be recognized, acknowledged and encouraged…I now see that I am one of the everyones. So I’m beginning to follow David’s lead. I will encourage myself. I will acknowledge and recognize what is in me…Who is in me!
What about you? Do you need to be encouraged? Don’t wait for it to come from someone else and don’t reserve your encouragement only for others. Join me in calling your own little DIY project. Be like David and do it yourself!