By Cally Logan, Crosswalk.com
“Do as I say, not as I do” can apply to many situations, but one we often forget is lifting ourselves up in encouragement just as we do with a dear friend. We are so much more readily available to inspire and love someone else, but we find it hard to extend that same kindness towards ourselves. Though it may feel like a foreign concept, it is possible to give encouragement to yourself just as you give it to others.
Encouragement in Scripture
One of the most vital and important places we can draw encouragement for others and ourselves is through God’s Holy Word. God can speak to us through many different forms of communication, but His Word is one of the most vibrant of all. It is not just a book of stories and ideas, but a book of Truth that we can glean wisdom from in every situation and need. If you feel defeated or discouraged, look up verses that shed light on what God has done before and what He can still do today. Apps like the Bible app can also help you find specific categories of Scripture to speak to your specific need. Going before God in prayer and asking Him to speak through Scripture can provide the best and most personal form of encouragement. Just as you would pray and ask for a verse for a friend, do it for yourself too.
Encouragement in Your Own Pace
At times, we get so caught up in the calendar and the speed everyone else is going, we forget that we are all running races at our own pace. More often than not, we hold ourselves to such a high bar that it is nearly impossible to achieve such standards. This is where grace for yourself is essential. Allow yourself to have the space and room to develop, grow, and achieve what God is working on in you at the precise timing. Even imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes looking at your speed and circumstances. Would you be putting them down, or would you see the big picture and reassure them that it is one step at a time? Sometimes we need to treat ourselves like we treat other people, including offering grace and kindness in support. There is absolutely nothing wrong with moving at your own pace with your life; in fact, it is right on time.
Encouragement in Remembering Truths of What God Says about You
What God says about us matters more than anyone else’s opinion or input. That is something we often assure others of, but in treating ourselves with kindness and love, we ought to remind ourselves of it as well. It is important to remember that the Enemy often seeks to demoralize and defeat us in our thoughts, which is why we must take every thought captive, as Paul highlights in 2 Corinthians 10:5. We must also acknowledge the truth of our identities in Christ and how that is what holds actual weight and importance. Remember what Peter said in 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” You are a chosen child of the Creator of the Universe, and what He says of you is what is true, not other’s perceptions of you. Declare such reminders over yourself and let it indwell in your innermost spirit that you may honor and glorify Him more by stepping into certainty.
Recalling What Makes You Unique
It is also important to recall and recognize the things God has placed innately within you that are unique and special. Perhaps you have a special talent that no one else does, or maybe you have a rare skill. No two people are exactly alike, and that means that within you, there is a one-of-a-kind light and substance you carry that no one else does. It is not prideful to acknowledge these things as long as you are living them out correctly. Consider the parable of the servants given minas to invest in Matthew 25; your skills, talents, and personality are minas. Don’t bury them in the sand, hiding them away, which helps and benefits no one. Instead, work with God to help nurture these gifts that they may produce a multitude of blessings for the Kingdom of God at work through your life. Stand firm and tall in the person you were made to be.
Recalling What You’ve Overcome
Not a single person on this earth has grown up without something in their past that was difficult to carry. The fact that you are here today, still enduring, is a testimony in itself of all you have overcome in your life. It is not healthy to dwell on what has happened in the past too much, but it is important to allow yourself to admit that you are a fighter and have overcome so much in your life. When we do this, we are not caving to the circumstance that it has power over us; rather, we acknowledge that we are no weaklings in this life journey. If you made it through some of your hardest days in the past, that means there is a fire within you to overcome anything you are facing now. Don’t forget the greatest truth of all. You have the Lord God Almighty right there to help you as well; all you have to do is ask Him to be with you and help you in this place. Remember what you’ve overcome, and believe you are stronger than you feel.
Recalling Who You Belong To
What is most important in encouraging ourselves is to remember Who we belong to: God. We belong to the Creator of the Universe, of all that is and will be. Remember the truth of Isaiah 43:1, “But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!” When we take on the mantle that we are children of God, something stirs within that empowers us to move forward. You are not here by accident, and you are meant for something meaningful in this world that God has planned specifically over your life. Do not let the Enemy or anyone else convince you otherwise; you belong to God, and He loves you.
We have the choice to be weakened and believe what the Enemy says about us, or we can embolden our own spirits with the honest reality of what God says about us. We can also make a choice to lift ourselves up, not in pride or arrogance, but in confidence of all God has spoken over us. We can wear that confidence within and fully embrace exactly who we were meant to be and become inspired to make that right next step with Him. Encourage yourself today in all that is noble, kind, and true by Christ Jesus.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/TomMerton
Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys leading a high school girls’ small group, cooking, and spending time in tree houses. Her latest books, Dear Young Sparrow and Unveiled are available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan.