Something has been nagging at me for a while like a tag in the neckline of my shirt. Reflexively, I reach around to pull it out and realize that if I do I’m liable to rip the shirt. No, I can’t be hasty.
It all started soon after I posted, “Let God Be King”. For those of you who don’t know me well enough, here’s a confession. Most such writing of mine is God preaching to me and trying to teach me…or trying to re-teach me a lesson. Anyway, I stand by what I wrote in “Let God Be King”, because we must get our esteem from Him. Man can’t give it and we shouldn’t seek it from man. However, there is a flip-side to this whole arrangement. While we shouldn’t be seeking praise from other people, we should always be finding ways to encourage other people. Catch someone doing something right and tell her about it. Pat her on the back. Give her a high five. But why, you ask? Isn’t our encouragement supposed to come from the Lord? Yes and He works through people; people who:
“…encourage one another daily…” Hebrews 3:13
“…spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24
“…serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13
“…encourage one another and build each other up…” 1 Thess. 5:11
are “kind and compassionate to one another…” Ephesians 4:32
“…have equal concern for each other…” 1 Cor. 12:25
“…consider others better than yourselves…” Philippians 2:3-5
“Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
“…encourage one another– and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25
I think the reason we are so maladjusted and off kilter with self-esteem issues is because we don’t get enough encouragement. We live in a world where everything and everybody is judged, critiqued, measured, analyzed, evaluated, appraised and assessed and we forget that a balance needs to exist. Stop feeding your dog for a few days and only throw sticks at him. We do the same thing with people we love; our friends, our children, our co-workers. We starve them of the encouragement they need and then hammer them daily with criticisms. “The Good Wife” told a detective in a season one episode, “Just tell me when I do something right, okay?” People in our circle of influence should not have to say this to us. God has already commanded us.