Give Yourself A Pat On The Back
By Joe Keim
January 1, 2012
Have you ever felt like no one appreciates you for who you are? Do you ever feel like you are trying ever so hard to get ahead and yet no one notices?
The feeling that no one cares and appreciates you can get very discouraging and can lead a person to question whether its worth living.
Jesus said in John 10:10:
...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
At times, we may read Jesus' statement and think, "well, that may work for others, but it sure doesn't work for me." In fact, you may feel like you are living in a lifeless body that wonders the earth from day to day, just waiting to die and get it over with. Finances may be difficult. Relationships between you and a friend or spouse might be suffering. But deep inside, you hope and pray that some day soon, a miracle will take place and bam!, you'll snap right out of your discouragement and life will be different.
My friend, chances are, things will not happen that way. How they are today is probably how they will continue to go unless you do something about it. Let me explain: There are seven billion people walking the earth right now and you and I cannot change one single person. Not even one! The only person you can change is ‘you'. That's it.
I've found that most of the time when we are discouraged and feeling beat up, it's because we have our eyes focused on self. In other words, we keep having our own little pity party. And we think to ourselves, "poor me"; if only people would have to walk in my shoes for one day, they would find out very quickly how difficult my life really is.
I've also found out, when I get my eyes off self and look toward others, I soon forget my discouragement and miserable state. Consider what Jesus said in Luke 6:38:
Give, and it shall be given unto you;
And then Jesus continues...
good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye use, it shall be measured [back] to you again.
What Jesus is saying, if you want to live a life of great abundance (an overflow of joy), you have to give it out to others before it can be given back to you. The more you give out the more you get back.
If we judge, condemn and are unforgiving of others-men and God will treat us the same.
If we do not judge and condemn others, but rather forgive them, then God and most men will not judge and condemn us; they will also be forgiving.
So the question is, how much forgiveness, joy and fulfillment do you want today?
You want a lot? Give a lot. You want little? Give a little.
If you are wondering about ways to give, consider the following:
We all know the power of congratulating others. Rewarding people with our praise is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to motivate others. Simple words of encouragement can change a person's life when given at the right moment. Saying "Good Job" or "That Looks Great" can encourage the other person and make them want to want to try harder to please you. Your positive comments will also give them a much needed sense of accomplishment for the hard work they have invested.
My children are now in their twenties and serving the Lord. One day, I asked them, what is the one thing that caused you to continue serving and living for the Lord? Well, they said, "dad, you and mom knew how to encourage us along the way. Even when we made mistakes, you still encouraged us with positive words. You patted us on the back whenever you had a chance, and you made us feel like we were somebodies."
To which I replied, "Wow! You mean patting you on the back and saying, you did great job meant that much?" "Yes", they said, "it made us more confident of ourselves as well as helped us see God as One who loves us, even when we made mistakes in life."
What happens though, when no one gives "You" that needed praise? Who encourages the encourager? Who tells the guy at the top "Good Job"? Oftentimes, nobody does this. Even a self-motivated person has a point where they just need to hear someone say "I appreciate what you are doing." So what do you do when those affirmations are few and far between?
Encourage yourself! David did that in 1 Samuel 30:6.
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
Maybe you've never had someone ready to stone you, but there have probably been times when you wondered if even your closest friends cared for you.
David understood that this was one day when encouragement from others was not going to come. They were tired, discouraged, and let down. He knew there was nothing he could do or say that would cause them to appreciate all he was trying to do for them. The only thing left for David to do was to "Encourage Himself". The scriptures say he "...encouraged himself in the Lord his God."
Wouldn't it be something if we could know exactly what he said or did to do this. What were his words? Maybe he talked out loud to himself, and said:
Don't worry David, God's got your back. You're doing a great job for the Kingdom of God. Don't be discouraged, the Lord knows where you're at right now.
These are things we might say to another person to encourage them, so why not say them to ourselves?
I confess, I talk to myself on occasion. Not like a lot of people do, but rather to encourage myself. A few years ago, I began to become very discouraged when it seemed that no one else seemed to appreciate the hard work and tremendous accomplishment that I was experiencing. So, I began to do something that might sound a bit strange to many people. I began "patting myself on the back". Seriously, I literally patted myself on the back and said to myself, "Good job Joe. No one else may notice what you just did, but I did and I think you did a fantastic job."
Pray for yourself. Lay hands on yourself and pray for yourself like you pray for others. Should God not heal you, simply because you are the one doing the praying?
The point is, be sure that you stay encouraged. Be sure that you stay blessed and healed. Don't do for others and let yourself become beaten down. What you do for others, do for yourself. Stay encouraged!
-- Joe Keim
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