Inconsistency, Thy Name is Human: Can We Encourage Each Other Already?

28 Jan

You have seen it before in this space, more than once.  Acknowledgement of how inconsistent we humans can be.

Yesterday, Pastor encouraged us to be encouragers of each other.

That  isn’t a default setting in most of us.  Honestly.

In our never-ending drive for self-vindication, we tend to trash other people with our words more than we encourage them.  Not sure why that is.  Are we really that desperate to look good that we believe everyone else around us has to be made to look bad in comparison???

I think we can do better than that.  We know we can, by Christ’s power.  He didn’t save us to leave us in middle school our entire lives!!!

I saw a classic example of how not to encourage that I thought I would bring up after an appropriate amount of time had gone by. 

One male friend admonished another to not praise himself.  He used the verse about letting another praise you, not yourself.

(Here it is:  Proverbs 27:2, “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.”)

Only thing is, the friend who said that never praises anyone.  He has one those personalities that kind of unfailingly points out the weaknesses of everyone around him.

When he told our mutual friend to let others praise him, I almost interjected, “Who might those others be?  You gonna give him a month of not praising himself and then start praising him?”

Except I am sure I would have gotten some faux Puritan statement about people needing to learn to exist without praise and encouragement.

Why should they have to do that?

What is it with that particular inconsistency?  Telling others to not brag on themselves but to rather wait for praise from others that . . . rarely comes?

How about if we quote Bible verses to others about letting other people praise them, we follow it up with some heartfelt praise and encouragement sometimes?

It just might work.  It also just might help us to grow into encouragers, along with the recipient of the praise and encouragement, too .  .  .


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