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Thursday, March 8, 2012


Discouraged defined: “to make somebody feel less motivated, confident, or optimistic” Encarta Dictionary.

Today when I compared myself to the achievement of others, I felt discouraged.  Like bitterness, discouragement is a state that must be avoided at all cost.  As bitterness eats away at happiness and a state of blessedness, so does discouragement.  As bitterness hurts most the one who harbors it, so does discouragement.  To overcome bitterness, one must learn to forgive others; to overcome discouragement, one must learn to forgive oneself.  Forgiveness involves “pardoning somebody for a mistake or wrongdoing" (ibid).  It is cancelling out a debt, it is the recognition and acceptance that in some ways unqualified justice can never and will never be achieved, but despite this one must set aside self-punishment over disappointment as a harmful self-indulgence.  To overcome bitterness, one must learn to be generous with others, to overcome discouragement one must learn to be generous with oneself.  For our own mental health, this must be done out of stark self-interest if nothing else.  And since we feel injustice so profoundly and tend to resent it so much, freedom from bitterness and discouragement require humility.  I recall once telling a CEO of a large company that I admired his humility.  He replied, “Well Wayne, I have a lot to be humble about.”  Ironically, humility is the most favorable stance to advance self-interest, and it usually comes with a good measure of humor.  To insist on exactitude of justice in personal relationships is to be forever relegated to unhappiness.   Several phrases come to mind such as “learn to roll with the punches” and “don’t be brittle for brittle things break.”  We must intentionally give up the fixed idea that we always know best and frankly admit that God’s wisdom and vision reliably exceeds our own. We are not and cannot be the final judge even of our own affairs.  It is sufficient to know that we always rest in divine love that He has our best interest at heart.

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