Everyone is either primarily an encourager or discourager in their attitude and actions. I think you will agree with success in witnessing for Jesus requires encouragers.
Let’s address how we discourage:
1. Grumbling that discourages others and is a sin against God. [click here for this point]
- Sarcastic comments and attempts at humor can often be misinterpreted by people and cause hurt feelings and be discouraging.
- Attempts with an angry attitude to question the actions of someone else can lead to discouragement.
- Trying to control others is self-centered without proper authority & then carefully.
- Constantly seeking a platform for giving your opinions is self-centered and discouraging. Learn to be sincerely interested in the other person and be a good listener.
- Being critical, defensive, easily offended, gossiping, mean, angry, hurtful or judgmental is a sin and discouraging to others. This includes our attitudes and actions toward those who serve us as family members, in hospitals, restaurants, and any other place where people are helping us. We don’t want to be the “christian” who keeps someone from coming to know Jesus personally. Disciples will be held accountable for our “careless” words on judgment day. For what the Bible says about careless words click here. God and people are watching us all the time.
- Jesus spoke about being unforgiving and suffering; “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” E Jesus set the example on the cross as “Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” E1 This is a hard saying for us but the Bible says “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,” E2 Note this verse refers to “you” 3 times and in context refers to people doing what is right and suffering for it like Jesus did. E2 F
- Someone told me years ago that as people age their true personality or character becomes stronger and takes over their life. Either the love of Jesus will take over your life or bitterness, anger, or attempts to control others will become prominent.
I include all of these statements under the broad category of “discouraging”. When you hear any of these examples you may kindly say “This is discouraging. I would prefer changing the subject.” Jesus said we are to love Him and others, even our enemies. This is an attitude that will be encouraging and lead to many gospel conversations.
Henry Luke 10/11/2017