~ June 23, 2020 – Evening Devotional ~
The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.
~ Proverbs 15:30, KJV ~
When was the last time you provided someone with encouragement? In other words, when was the last time you provided someone with support, comfort, confidence, and hope? As we engage our journey of recovery – we experience encouragement from family, close friends, members of our faith-based community, and/or peer support. Some may even feel encouraged from their therapist (if they are engaged in mental health services and/or substance use disorder treatment). Providing encouragement to someone is one of the precious virtues we are capable of gifting to others. How is it that we are not doing so more often? And, yes, I am just as shamefully guilty of not providing adequate encouragement when called upon. There is no excuse.
How do we show encouragement toward others? Even those who have a different faith than we do? Or, those who do not even believe in God and Jesus Christ? Simple. We show kindness toward others. After all, isn’t this what Jesus taught us to do? Show kindness and mercy to others? Is not what his teachings centered on – showing mercy, grace, kindness, and love toward others? How many more souls are we to save and add to the way when we show the same level of compassion, kindness, grace, and mercy toward others who are downtrodden, hopeless, and crumbling faith?
Many times I have sat in counsel with patient’s. Individuals at different levels of their journey. Different cultures and religious belief systems. One thing I have noticed lacking in their recovery program – the lack of encouragement from others. Whether they struggle with a significant other who continues to use, or engage in abusive and manipulative behaviors, or dealing with significant loss that has not been resolved. They do not need judgment or criticism. Demanding them to change their ways only hardens them even more. Yet, when I approach them with compassion, empathy, kindness, grace, and mercy – they are encouraged to open more. They are encouraged to face their fears. They are encouraged to expand and incorporate new ways of living life and address their underlying problems. They are motivated and committed to change their lives in powerful ways.
Today, let us look toward becoming more encouraging toward others. Let us give of our selves in kindness toward others. In all things, show compassion and understanding. Mercy and Grace. The spiritual impact of turning others back to Christ will be phenomenal. It may not be instantaneous. However, it will be significantly impacting and influential in their lives.
~ Today’s Prayer and Meditation ~
Heavenly Father, help me show your love, your compassion, your mercy, and your grace to encourage others struggling in their lives. Let my kindness shine as a light set upon a hill. Let me speak gently to the hurt and broken-hearted. Help me learn to mourn with those who mourn. Allow me to be the disciple of Christ that shows kindness and encourage others to come unto you through the infinite and powerful atonement of Jesus Christ.