Discouragement spreads like a virus, and we need to flatten the curve!
I don’t know about you….but, it’s easy to get infected!
Being at home has been really good for my family and me. It’s been like a sabbatical- rest, retrospection, and being reset. (I know it hasn’t been for everyone- I wish it could be!)
Even though I am enjoying this extra long staycation, there have been times I’ve felt discouragement creeping in my heart. For many, staying at home may be decreasing the spread of COVID-19, but the increase of mental health issues are on the rise.
The enemy is a specialist in attacking people with discouragement. You don’t have to breathe it or touch it, and still that old Infector can spread his disease to anyone.
All he needs is a touch of discouragement, then doubt, fear, and unbelief will spread like a pandemic!
During these stay-a- home days, the conditions are just right for discouragement to fester. Social distancing and not gathering in groups easily lend itself to this kind of spiritual infection.
What are some breeding grounds for discouragement?
First of all, idleness….you know…. not staying busy, doing nothing, being lazy.
Idleness is the breeding ground for infection.
When you aren’t busy or motivated, and you just sit around, your mind is open to lies and deceit. Plus, when you aren’t productive, you don’t feel good about yourself. That’s when the negative talk and thoughts creep in to suck you down into the pit……
I’m no good. I’m lazy. I can’t anything right. That scratchy cough of discouragement is taking over.
How about isolation infecting you with discouragement?
You know how it feels being alone, not just physically alone, but also emotional and spiritual isolation can easily spread infection.
Isolation is an age old trick the Infector uses to bring people down.
Just like an animal who gets pulled away from the protection of the herd, the enemy uses isolation to make people feel lonely and disconnected. Then when you feel all alone, you are susceptible the whisper of lies. The lies catch like a fever, growing until you blazing hot with discouragement!
Have you noticed the common factor of how this virus spreads?
The enemy gets you alone and lazy and then sticks you with lies….They don’t want you…They don’t love you….They don’t care about you…..You are stuck…This will never change!
The deception will destroy you unless you have a strong immunity!
Being intentional about how your spend your time and how you engage your spirit will help you build a strong defense against discouragement!
Try some of these ideas to keep idleness at bay:
Establish a routine or schedule
As much as we think we’d enjoy the carefree nothingness, it really makes us feel worse than better. So, set yourself a routine and stick to it. For my family, we loosen the routine on the weekends. That way, relaxing becomes a special delight that we look forward to enjoying.
Setting some goals
If I make a deal with myself that I will accomplish certain things by the end of the week, then I feel productive and useful. Setting goals helps me stay on track with my priorities. It’s not going to just happen by accident. You’ve got to be intentional to keep away from idleness. Trust me…the enemy is very intentional at trying to keep you infected with discouragement, so you’ve got to be even more determined to stay immune!
Isolation is a tough one. When we’re trying to stay 6 feet or more away from co-workers, family, and friends, it’s hard not to have some feelings of isolation. We’ve got to figure out ways to stay connected even when we can’t touch each other.
Technology has been a huge gamechanger for staying connected. Whether it’s phone calls, video chats, snail mail, texts, visits across the yard, whatever, you must stay connected by interacting with people!
Serving people is a great way to stay connected and keep isolation away! It’s a win-win. Help someone while building relationships and community. All the while, strengthen your immune and theirs!
Finally, do you want a vaccine against the virus of discouragement?
Saturate yourself with Truth!
Watching the news or scrolling through social media are sure-fire ways to get infected.
Reading and meditating on Scripture is the best way build encouragement in yourself and defend against discouragement. When you regularly fill yourself and soak yourself with Truth, you will prevent the disease of discouragement from spreading.
Daily doses of Scripture are a potent multivitamin. More than a UV light inside the body (HA HA), God’s Word is the Light to disinfect darkness from your soul!
Knowing that encouragement is essential to us as followers of Christ, we’ve got to flatten the curve of discouragement in ourselves and in others. Encouragement is God’s remedy.
What do you need to do fill yourself with Truth while guarding against idleness and isolation?
Who can you call, write, video chat, send a card to, or drive by?
Let’s flatten the curve of discouragement as we help each other to be passionate, devoted followers of Christ!
So, let’s do something fun!
Would you join me in the WoW Encouragement Challenge?
Call, text, or video chat someone. Write a note or send a card. Post something on Facebook. Whatever you can think of, and then, share it on the Women of the Way TN page. Show me what you’re doing to encourage someone.
And….don’t just encourage the friends you would normally talk to anyway. No! Find friends, relatives, and co-workers that you don’t see often or rarely talk to them. Get creative! Don’t spend any money (unless you just want to). Just be thoughtful and encouraging!
We’re doing this challenge for the rest of May! Join me here.
Join me! Let’s stop the spread of discouragement!