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Practical Insight: Overcoming Discouragement

by Tim Saumier, President of TYGES 

I get my inspiration on what to write from a number of places but my favorite is God’s Word – the Bible.  People look at this book as it is written in some strange language that is hard to understand or is not really relevant to them.  In fact, it is the story of the Good News (aka the Gospel) written by God himself through ordinary men.  Yes, this book talks about the Good News but it also offers up very practical tools on how to live your life.  I want to talk about what the bible talks says about how to deal with discouragement (I’m borrowing from Rick Warren’s daily devotional).

Rick says that discouragement is curable and when he gets discouraged, he heads to the book of Nehemiah for practical counsel on how to cure his state of discouragement.

“Then the people of Judah said, ‘The work crews are worn out, and there is too much rubble.  We can’t continue to rebuild the wall.'” (Nehemiah 4:10 GWT)

sleep-18First, we get tired.  We are human and we flat out get tired.  To deal with this you need to recharge yourself with sleep or even a vacation.  When I get to this phase, I take a nap, go for a walk, or go to the movies by myself.  It’s a time to get away and get my batteries charged up again.

Second, we get frustrated.  You have so much going on in life that is stopping you from getting on track.  It’s time to stop, clean up, and get organized.  When we get overwhelmed, it feels like we are spinning our wheels and getting nowhere in life.  This is the time to take stock and organize what’s in front of you, get rid of the things that don’t matter, and focus on the things that do.  Then prioritize your actions and start executing.

Third, we think we have failed.  Because we are a mess, we don’t always hit our goals or timelines, thus this means failure to each of us.  The reality of it is we fail daily – get used to it.  Failure is nothing but an opportunity to learn and course correct.  Don’t accept this fate.  Don’t give in to self-pity.  Don’t start blaming others.  Don’t complain and claim that the task is impossible.  Instead, refocus, plan, prioritize and start moving forward.

Finally, if we give in to fear, we get discouraged.  In Nehemiah it suggests that people most affected by fear are those that hang around negative people.  One thing to say about that:  turn and run from these people.  Don’t buy in to what they are projecting.  Don’t let fear discourage you.  If you let it, fear will ruin your life.  Instead of being afraid, focus on what you can learn from your circumstances and how you can use these lessons to move forward.

The bible is full of very practical tools and advice on how to make it in this life.  Make it part of your daily read.


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