It’s interesting to watch little children. It’s pretty common to see them looking for attention at various points of their little life…. .They want to be the “center of attention”… “hey look at me. I can do a somersault …. hey watch me, I can sing ….. I want a cookie …..” At some point they usually move “somewhat” beyond that phase; they become more confident in themselves…they realize that they’re loved and don’t need to do anything to gain that love. Kids are a lot more pleasant when they are not demanding to be “shown” love 24/7. When they are confident that they are loved and don’t need to earn that love, things are better.
As we get older, we may still feel unloved at times and we may do some things to try and elicit a little affirmation, We are usually a little more subtle or clever than children, but still it’s often easy to detect. What is expected and tolerated in a child is not so in adults. We can find ourselves without many friends if we are constantly demanding affirmation, thinking about ourselves. As we know, “to gain a friend, we need to be a friend’… “think about them, look to love them, to help them and serve them”. No one does this 100% of the time. We all have pride and self-centeredness lingering in our heart, but we need to try and focus on the “other”.
Well, how can we help each other as we get trapped in this “self centered prison” at times. I think part of the remedy is the same for the child of 2 and for the adult of 20 or 50 or 70 or 90. It’s called encouragement…. giving courage to someone. We all need encouragement where we are reminded of the good qualities we have. Encouragement lifts our gaze from our inadequacies to our virtues, from our weaknesses to our strength; encouragement reminds us that we are of real value and loved. Remember even Jesus was encouraged by his father. (Mt. 3:17)
So today for your homework, speak a word of encouragement to 2 people. Tell them of their goodness and how glad you are to know them. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to do this.
And I’m praying that the Holy Spirit will encourage you today. Send in a comment of how this worked out. We don’t have to live in the “terrible 2’s or the terrible 70’s”. We are sons and daughters of God, let’s enjoy our status as children of the King.