I wrote this and posted it on my Semkee/Seeds blog on October 8, 2012.
Living a life that focuses on working with people and dealing with spiritual issues will give you a real lesson on humanity if not an occasional headache.
As Christians, we are to put our trust in God and not in people, but all too often, we end up putting more trust in people around us than in God and we end up getting our trust broken.
This can breed a kind of cynicism as we deal with people. Experience tends to teach us that this type of person may be like this or that and we decide about a situation or person before we barely know them. Stereotypes rise in our minds, may even play out in our relations with others and then true relational trust becomes a hard bridge to cross.
It’s true that sometimes we have to make decisions about people and we have to use experience and wisdom to make a decision for yourself or for others safety. That’s not what I’m writing about today. I’m writing about the junk that clogs up our minds and that we need to let go of if we are truly going to walk in love and share faith and hope with others.
While we need others for friendship and support, there will come a time when you find yourself alone and you need to pull yourself out of cynicism and the stereotyping of other people if you want to develop lasting friendships and relationships with people.
I find encouraging myself is a good thing to do when I feel hurt by others or feel surrounded by people whose motives seem manipulative and not genuine.
1 Samuel gives us an example of this when David and his men returned home to find their wives and children captured by their enemy. His men turned on him in their grief and wanted to kill him.
“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”…….1 Samuel 30:5-7 (KJV)
You could encourage yourself by any number of ways. I like to take some time alone relaxing and not thinking about problems. Sometimes I listen to music, read a book or watch a movie. Then I find things to do that inspire me spiritually. Maybe it’s taking some photos, praying or reading the Bible.
What helps me the most is remembering all the ways I’ve seen God work in the life of others around me. I know He does a lot in my life, but I find that looking at other people’s lives and seeing how they’ve grown, how God has met their needs or is working in their life inspires me to no end. I think this is because it gets me back to looking at people in a positive light and I start feeling thankful for the people who are in my life. I realize that even through the difficult relationships that are challenging me, I also have people in my life who encourage me without even saying a word to me.
While ministering to others can be draining and even painful at times because you get a close look at the dark side of humanity, you also are given a front row seat to watch the spectacular ways that God works in our lives. This is truly an encouragement and blessing.