A friend of mine was going through a very tough time recently. He called me in an emotional state, basically ranting and raving regarding the situation he was in. The attacks against his peace piled up and seemed to be coming at him from all angles. He had family problems, financial pressure and hostile adversaries in litigation. He was in a position where he had enough and was done trying to work things reasonably. Basically, he was going nuclear.
While there was nothing that required same day attention, my friend went through the things he was deciding on the spot. He was concluding that the best ways to deal with the attacks were counter-attacks which weren’t necessarily positive or healthy to his overall situation. I offered that maybe he should give it some time but mostly I just listened. Then I listened some more.
Truthfully, I wanted to help. I wanted to fix things. I wanted to bring the kind of wisdom that drives out confusion and solves all trouble. I just didn’t know what to say as the situation was too complex and the emotions were just too out of control.
The evidence of things gone wrong were the focus of the conversation from his perspective up until this point. Then, at the right pause in the action, I reminded him of the good stuff. I affirmed all the things that he was doing right. I didn’t disagree and I didn’t offer solutions, I just was able to shift the focus. I reminded my friend of the gifts, abilities and identity which God put in him and which he had put on display in various positive ways.
I spent several minutes recognizing the strengths and victories which were a part of this man’s story. The Holy Spirit anointed the time of encouragement and the momentum picked up. The man began to weep as he released the anger and hurt he was operating from. He softened and gave way to the Healer as he put down his sword long enough to receive.
We don’t hear enough about this. We don’t practice enough in this. I didn’t really even think about it . . . it wasn’t my instinct, but God through me. We should teach it. We should practice it.
“It” is encouragement. We need to encourage one another and quit trying to solve things in our own ability. Encouragement is giving courage, and we all need more of it. We need to be reminded of who He says we are and what He says we can and cannot accomplish through Him. We need to be reminded and we need to remind others. When we do, healing follows and the problems are solved.