March 08, 2020

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Encourage

It is amazing how much something as simple as encouragement
 can change one's entire perspective.

The artist can be extremely critical of their own work.  Because so often they create in isolation...they begin to believe their inner dialog of negativity. They have no one to stop the wrong thinking. Though they must have an honest & critical eye, be able to self reflect, and edit their own work....negativity rarely yields the positive results that are needed to build momentum in creative pursuits. Internalized negativity stunts one's ability to progress fluidly. Self doubt, frustration, and dissatisfaction are stumbling blocks.  The stereotypical self deprecating, angsty artist is not the picture of health & productivity.

 As in all areas, the artist needs to have individuals in their life that will be honest, yet provide encouragement. No one needs someone lying to them or throwing out worthless platitudes. A person who can give honest feedback and at the same time  encourages the positive in their work is a treasure.  They help the artist to see the good, and help to prevent them from going down a destructive path of negativity.  We all need encouragement as we step out, try new things, and desire to better ourselves.  Words of affirmation go a long way in changing our perspective.  

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Our world has become obsessed with negativity. Spewing hate, hurling insults, and divisiveness creates a toxic environment where no one wins. People feel more disconnected, dissatisfied, and disenchanted. Growth & progress are hard to come by in such an environment.  Love, kindness, connection, and encouragement are needed so desperately. 

 As believers, we must live differently. We have been called to be & do not as the "world".  We need to look at situations & individuals through the eyes of Christ. Our response should be one of love & compassion. 

How would things change around you if you made the choice to encourage someone, make mention of the good you see them doing, take a moment to listen to them(without offering your opinion), or ask if they need help with anything(All the while refusing to participate in fruitless negative talk!)? 

 Could your encouragement show others the love of Christ during these dark times? Could your attitudes and actions help to turn someone's day around?  Could your refusal to participate in the negative help someone else get out of that vicious &  destructive cycle? What has God called you to do? How is He going to use you to encourage others? 

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