Do you have the “Gift of Discouragement?” Those that have it generally don’t know it. Visit www.theindwelling.com.
The “Gift of Discouragement” is a humanistic “personality flaw,” in my opinion, that affects many; the sad part is that those who have it, do not realize they have “the gift.” To put this in context of how I first learned of this gift, I will have to take you back to a 2015 musical performance by the group, Greater Vision, an American Southern Gospel trio, which was held at the First Baptist Atlanta church.
Gerald Wolfe, lead singer and founder of the group, during a break between songs, addressed Dr. Stanley, Pastor of First Baptist, with his view that a Gift of the Spirit had been omitted from the Manifestation of the Spirit list given to believers in Jesus Christ, read 1 Corinthians 12:1-14 for full insight.
Knowing that many will not look up the verses, I’ll list the gifts of the Spirit. They are the gifts of: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues (various languages, my view) and interpretation of tongues. A believer may receive one or more and their purpose is to enhance the Body of Christ, the Church, as they spread the Gospel Message.
Gerald, of course, was joking as there is no Gift of Discouragement, but there are givers (bearers) of discouragement; they are generally well meaning individuals, but their views are harmful to those they interact with. I imagine most people, at some time or the other, have had or presently have, individuals in their lives that are not encouragers but discouragers. The discourager may have been a spouse, parent, sibling, friend, neighbor, relative, stranger and etc. Maybe you are one.
Hopefully, you have never encountered a discourager for any long period of time. Or, if you have, you have made it a practice to ignore discouraging remarks and have lived your life without damage to your soul and spirit. Many, however, allow discouragers to damage the fruitfulness of their lives.
Thankfully there are encouragers in life. An encourager can be anyone no matter whether or not they are religious, atheistic or whatever. It is the way people are wired. Some see life optimistically (positive thoughts and comments) while others see life pessimistically (negative thoughts and comments). Of course there are a myriad of people someplace within the span from positive to negative.
To have one encourager as a brother or sister in Christ would be a greater benefit than anything I can think of. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 1:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another,” and in Ephesians 4:29 he writes, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” In other words, always be a positive influence in someone’s life.
You can live your life being encouraged or discouraged by your acquaintances in the humanistic “fleshly desires of immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and such” and be excluded from eternal life in the kingdom of God, or you can “crucify your fleshly desires and passions and enjoy a spiritual life with Jesus in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,” paraphrased from Galatians 5:16-24. You have a choice. What will yours be?
Consider this thought, Biblical Christians would choose the spiritual life with Jesus, but Cultural Christians would vacillate between a worldly lifestyle while maintaining they know God and God knows them—a bad assumption. Those without the Biblical God and knowledge of Him may have moral values but live a worldly life and thus are not truly known by God.
I can assure you that if you surround yourself with positive people you will come closer to reaching your potential. In the final analysis of life, you become like those you choose to surround yourself with. In my opinion, true happiness can only be found in Jesus Christ through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
I’ll close with this. If people could “love their neighbor as themselves” (paraphrased from Galatians 5:14), the world would truly be a better place. Think about this from the standpoint of being an encourager or discourager. Which are you?
Those are my thoughts for the day. What are yours?
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