The feelings of discouragement, failure, and guilt come from the enemy – often disguised as “corrections” or “directions” from God. Although God does offer guidance for our journey, He does not try to make us feel bad about the choices we make. Instead, He aims for us to be joyful in the better choices.
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“Let’s do this.”
I confess there are many times when people come along and “encourage” me to take a step or to make a move. They have the best of intentions in that they want to help me in my journey.
I don’t want to “do this” at that moment. For whatever reasons, I have made a different choice for the day or for the time or for the next step. Telling me that I need to do it or it’s for my own good will not likely change my direction but it will definitely sour my tone.
Anytime the tone sours, the cracks emerge allowing discouragement to slip in.
Discouragement NEVER comes from God.
Yes, I said NEVER!
Conviction comes from God, but not discouragement or condemnation.
God wants me to walk the correct path. He offers me guidance and road signs (sometimes flashing neon signs with warning alarms). He encourages me to choose better and to do better.
He does not say, “I told you so” when I slip down into the waves. Instead, He reaches down and pulls me up when I cry out.
Back to my “let’s do this moment.” Several weeks ago, my dear husband agreed to get up early so we could have a time to do a devotional and walk together. I like spending time with him. I love spending time together in the word. I even enjoy going on walks with him (although not when he is annoyed at something because he forgets my stride is half of his).
My husband wants to encourage me to get up and get moving – because being a writer and content creator often means a lot of sitting. He has heard me complain about my displeasure at my current health status. He is trying to help.
So when he said, “let’s do this” what discouragement screamed in my ear was “he thinks your fat and need to exercise.” The screaming of discouragement drowned out the love and compassion of my husband. The shift in my focus from enjoying time with my husband to being discouraged about my health put a halt to my desire to get up and get going.
That is what discouragement and condemnation do. They put a halt to the progress, the possibilities, and the positives.
So a God of “go” and “now” fuels our abilities to go and to do now. He does it with hope and inspiration with maybe a side of conviction when we go astray.
When guilt shows up or discouragement tries to creep in, remember that it is not from God and you don’t have to accept it or let it in.
Break Free from Discouragement
Practical Proverbs offers simple ideas – pulled from the Wisdom of the Proverbs – to live find your way to live INcouraged and on purpose.
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