Understanding Depression: Overcoming Despair through Christ
Living Free Every Day®
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Many scriptures exhort believers to encourage one another. And yet, sometimes we get so busy in our own lives that we neglect thinking about others. We may become insensitive to the concerns of those around us.
So how can we be a better encourager? The first step may be to ask God to help us be less self-focused and to be more sensitive to the needs of others. And then we need to ask his wisdom in knowing how to encourage our brother or sister in Christ. Sometimes it takes a listening ear—just showing we care by really listening to what they have to say. They might have a problem … or an idea they are hesitant to move ahead with … or some special challenge. Just knowing that someone values them enough to listen can be an encouragement.
Perhaps they need words of encouragement. Nothing can be more encouraging than God's Word, shared from a loving heart.
Maybe they need us to show our faith in them with an action. As we prayerfully approach them, God will guide.
Consider this …
As you consider these thoughts, does someone come to your mind? Someone who may need encouragement? Pray … and take action. Call … or meet for coffee or dinner … or just sit down and have a heart to heart. Find out what is on your friend's mind … listen … share God's Word … demonstrate your confidence in him (or her).
And day by day ask God to help you get out of the box of your own world and find ways to encourage others.
Father, I know that sometimes I get so caught up in my own life that I don't even notice others who may need encouragement. Help me to be less self-focused and more sensitive to the needs around me. Help me to be an encourager. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …
Understanding Depression: Overcoming Despair through Christ by Donald G. Miles, Ed.D. This study deals with depression, a condition common throughout the world, and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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