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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Therefore, encourage...




I receive many emails each week from blog readers who encourage me about the things I share in my rambling posts and devotions. By taking those few minutes to send me a hug and share a little of how this blog lifts their day they are inspiring me to be a better Jenny, a more thoughtful and appreciative person, and to seek more deeply the riches of a life lived for Jesus.

Unlike ripples in a pond which clearly spread in widening circles after a pebble is tossed into the water, when we take time to encourage each other we rarely see how far that blessing will travel, but believe me, it does travel.

When we encourage, we are teaching others to encourage. 
When we inspire, we help others to inspire.
When we offer genuine praise, we are building one another up.
When we serve with a full heart, we are walking in humility and displaying Christ in our character, just as He who made Himself a servant displayed to us through His own example when He walked and lived among men.

But there are times when we do not stop to think about another, our mind being self-focused on our own agenda or troubles. We probably have no intention of being mean or careless with our words and actions, yet we are, and instead of being an encourager we stamp on others with our heavy boots of thoughtlessness. 

Yes, perhaps we're having a bad week or life is nothing more than a weary hike up Struggle Hill - but we can't use that as an excuse for our behaviour and responses. We just can't. 
Christ hung on a cross, naked and shamed (Hebrews 12:2), yet still showed compassion (Luke 23:34).

This week I hurt a friend with a thoughtless comment in an email. It was the kind of tongue-in-cheek remark that would be fine if we'd been face to face and she'd seen my silly smile, but on paper it read criticism and thanklessness - and this dear girl had just selflessly helped me during a difficult week in her life. 
If I had paused to think for a moment and considered her emotional head-space I would never have written that remark. How very sad that my omission of care would bring the sting of criticism upon a sister in Christ, a woman I admire so deeply, a child of God already suffering.

She still loves me and forgives me, and for that she has modeled Jesus.
 She was the pebble thrown in my pond last week, and the ripples are still visible.

It's a humbling that was needed and a lesson in the importance of exhorting others. It was a very clear example of how words, even with no harm intended, can hurt.

 I pray that in the future my heart would draw from this lesson so the Lord would make me a pebble too...



Download the printable Scripture card and devotion HERE.

12 comments:

desertskyquilts said...

You are right, Jenny, we are all thoughtless sometimes. That is why I'm so grateful for repentance and the love of my Savior. I know that knowing you has made me a better person, and I'm grateful for that. Not just your Sunday posts, but your every day posts are examples of a person I want to resemble myself. I think when that happens with someone, it's because we all want to be like Christ and, when someone comes close to that, for a hour, a day or however long, we want to emulate that behavior, too. You teach me so often how to be the person I want to be. Thank you.

Conni said...

Love your openness and reflections on life with our Savior. These posts would make a great devotional book...(hint-hint)!!!! Blessings!

Allie-oops Designs said...

My darling Jenny - how I love you. You have the most tender heart.

janice15 said...

I appreciate this post very much.. Lately church has been much about this very thought of imitating Jesus. To the very end he remained faithful to God and kept his compossure I have been working very hard on this to keep this in mind when speaking P to others Jesus didnt boast about the things he did or what was done to him he never faltured. I know we arent perfect humans but we can surely work on this point.. Great post and Forgiveness is one of the most important things to God if we cNt forgive then there s not point in pursuing him.. I love your blog I enjoy it very much I dont alepways grpet to drop by though.. I embroider a bit i wish I had time to do more and learn more I love the things you do. Be b,essed have a wonderful evening and a grand Sunday with love Janice

Tania said...

So beautifully written Jenny, I loved reading this today...

Thank you for reminding me to treat others with kindness ALWAYS.

You are a beautiful soul :)

xTania

Baa. xxx said...

Oh, Jenny - you are the best! Such a heart! May you and your friend be blessed by the love of Jesus this week.

Mary Burns said...

Beautiful words and beliefs, I don't know you but can tell you are a beautiful pebble made by God. In church today, we were told to cherish how beautiful the cross is, not just the beautiful wood or construction, but what it stands for, Jesus' dying for all of us and the humility he showed all who noticed. God Bless you and I know your friend feels the love you hold for her, Many blessed Hugs, Mary

Brenda said...

Jenny, You are so right to bring this to the surface. Although, I truly am sorry that it happened to you. I had a very similar circumstance, although my error was in not saying anything at all. This woman and I had just met and talked for quite some time, we parted and just shortly our paths crossed again. I said a quick hello, but was hurting and just wanting to look at items and get going. My hubby pointed out how rude I was and he noticed how much I had hurt her. Wow did I ever feel like hiding under a boulder. Yet, I did learn a lesson and hubby and I talked, the Lord and I talked and they both led me to some verses in the Bible. Thank you for sharing your message today and everyday! They truly do enlighten and teach. Bless your friend for her forgiveness and you for becoming a stronger friend! Have a wonderful creative day!

Farm Quilter said...

Oh, Jenny, I know how much this hurt your tender heart. However, if we weren't human and make mistakes, Jesus would not have needed to die for us. No matter how far we are on the road to emulate Jesus, we will always need the extra boost that He gives us. All we can do is beg forgiveness, remember the lesson and move on in the Lord. Amazing that so few hearts and dreams get tromped on with the amount of typed communication in our world. Body language and facial expressions add so much more depth to our words - that is why having face-to-face friends is so important...they can see our grins and tongue in cheek, as well as our tears and empathy. (((((hugs))))) Bless you for being human (a very loving, caring, tender one at that) and reminding us just how deeply a careless word or phrase can cut the receiver.

Cathy said...

Been there, done that! Hugs~

Sharon - creativity and family said...

Ah Jenny, this is so true, how we need help to be more like Jesus. It is so easy to have our words mistaken, especially when not face to face and we each need to be reminded to be careful with our words. I am glad that your friend was given a forgiving spirit towards you and to God using this experience in your life as you write about it here and both warn and encourage us and create those ripples with blessings reaching far. xx

Carla said...

Aww I think we've all been there Jenny. Technology is great but sometimes the person reading takes a different perception of what we write. i tell my daughter all the time when she gets upset with someone about what they text that maybe a phone call would be better.

Hugs to you and your friend