One Really Great Way to Discourage Yourself!
First, a disclaimer. My heart and prayer for you: to live constantly encouraged! Sometimes though, it’s easier to think about things we should not do rather than things we should. So, tongue in cheek, I offer the advice below.
Feeling a little too encouraged lately? Unrealistically positive? Curiously content?
Well, I’ve observed a cure for that condition. By the way, lots of us are pretty practiced with the technique I describe below but in case you’re still working on it here’s what to do.
Read about and talk to all the flourishing, thriving pastors and churches you can. (Doesn’t matter if they really are doing all that well, only that they present that image.)
Next, take notice of all the things that are not going well in your own ministry and church. Surely there must be any number of challenges and obstacles! Not to mention your own personal limitations and short-comings.
Thirdly and most importantly – this is where the magic really happens – compare your challenging situation to the mega-achievements of the ultra-successful.
Voila! Discouragement practically guaranteed!
Now if you want to really fine tune this discouragement-inducing process, I’ve got a few extra tips.
Call yourself a loser.
If you’re not totally miserable and beaten down by this point, I probably really can’t help you. However, I’m pretty sure you will feel some negative emotions if you pursue this process vigorously enough.
Which brings up a great opportunity. Now that you’re all down in the dumps, take out your unhappy feelings on the people around you! Why keep all that frustration to yourself?
You can fuel a cascade of negativity that will help validate your own discouragement and bring others down at the same time!
On the other hand, there’s this pesky scripture:
“… But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point.” (1 Corinthians 10:12 The Message)
Well, if we don’t compare and grade ourselves against and complete with others, how are we supposed to keep ourselves in a constant state of discouragement?
I suppose if we forego the comparing ourselves with others, we would have to turn to fill our thoughts with - oh, I don’t know - thanking God for what we have and praising Him for the many blessings we do enjoy.
And that could lead to a deep sense of contentment and peace!
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