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Being Encouraged

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up."

- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 -

If you're a type-A person like me, you are your worst critique. You never give yourself an A+, 100% grade. Maybe a 96% tops, but you always leave yourself room for improvement.

Whether it's my job performance, parenting skills, wifely duties, or even loading the dishwasher, I'm too hard on myself. And unfortunately, I tend to tune out the positive things that people tell me and instead have tunnel vision on those areas I need to fix.

This isn't healthy.

Our church staff gathers together once a month for an all-staff meeting. These meetings usually involve some sort of fun exercise. Recently, they gave each of us an index card in which we were to write our name in the middle. Then, we all had to walk around the room and write one word describing each person on staff.

Of course, I came up with lots of great things to say about my co-workers, but I was hesitant what others would say about me. I've never been described as sweet or caring so what do they think of me? I mainly sit quietly at my desk churning out project after project. I need to be productive because I'm being paid by the financial gifts given to the church! But now I feel like I've neglected my co-workers!!! What will the descriptors be on my card?!?!?

When I sat back down at my table, I was humbled by the encouraging words my co-workers wrote about me. They wrote things like focused, organized, creative, and reliable. It's OK that I'm not the cuddliest person around.

God created me as I am, and I need to be thankful to Him for the wonderful qualities He has given me.

I'm so thankful for the encouraging words my co-workers shared with me that day. I keep that index card in my University of Illinois notepad to help remind me that I don't have to be so hard on myself. When I'm ready to beat myself up yet again for not matching up to my own ridiculous expectations, I look at these words of encouragement.

How have you encouraged someone today? Perhaps you need to send a quick text to your spouse, a sibling, or a friend. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but it's HUGE to the person being encouraged.

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