The past two days have been SO much fun! I’m thrilled that so many of you have chosen to participate in sharing your messes with me, and in opening up yourself to doing yesterday’s challenge which was a bit uncomfortable.
I cannot get over the emails and messages that I have received, and I am so honored that many of you chose to open up about your very real struggles with the masks that you wear. I promise to pray for the requests that you sent me, and I’m also praying for those masks to shatter and fall!
Okay…Day 3. Today’s Challenge.
Part of the reason that we wear our masks we have already talked about.
But there is another reason that I thought was worth covering. Sometimes, we wear masks not to hide our ‘messes’, but to hide our victories.
Because of our nature, sometimes even the most well meaning friends (and myself included) struggle with feelings of discontentment, jealousy, or judgement when someone that we love experiences success.
This is sin- plain and simple and I have to battle in my own ugly heart with this, often. Instead of celebrating the amazing things that may be taking place in the life of someone that we love, we may belittle it, choose to not mention it, refuse to comment, made snide jokes or remarks, or even talk about that person in a judgmental way.
Oh how I wish that I could write right now and tell you that this is not an area that I struggle with- that it’s not something that I have done. But as hard as it is to sit and type this, that isn’t true.
I DO struggle with feelings of jealousy at times, even with people that I love. I struggle with not wanting to cheer someone else on when I am sometimes left wondering why I haven’t experienced the same outcomes as they have. It can be easy to say “that’s not fair” or to make an excuse for why they were given something that I wasn’t. (Much like my three year old whining because his sister got the bigger piece of banana).
It’s a battle that I must face often. I can CHOOSE to take those thoughts captive, to repent and to ask God to help me respond in a way that reflects my love and support, or I CHOOSE to sit and wallow in the same old cycle of sin that threatens to keep me trapped.
So I choose to battle to love. I choose to battle to encourage and support. I choose to battle to build up, even when it’s not my first response. To be honest, I don’t always succeed, but I keep trying. And the more I work towards this, the more aware I become of the ugliness in my heart and my desperate need for Jesus.
One of the best ways to encourage others to shed the mask they may be wearing to cover up their successes, is to CHOOSE to cheer them on. To send them a message or a phone call and to say “I am so amazed by how you…. You are really great at …. You encourage me by the way that you ….” .
This not only gives them the encouragement they may need to walk boldly into whatever calling they’ve been given, but it helps you to step back and to re-frame and to stop the cycle of jealousy, discontentment and judgement. If we can look for the GOOD that someone is doing, and to applaud them in their efforts, it leaves little room for us to sit back and judge.
I say all that to say this: It’s time to encourage one another in the tasks that we are attempting. I believe that it is CRITICAL that we consciously make an effort to build up the people we are around.
So your task today: you are to call, message, email or text someone that has experienced a success or a victory and I want you to CELEBRATE it. Know someone that really stepped out in faith and went for something? Tell them how much their example meant to you. Have you witnessed someone that persevered in the face of difficulty and came out ahead? Speak to them and let them know that you are proud to know them- that their example gives you renewed motivation and helps you persevere when things are hard.
Right now, you may have someone coming your your mind. You are probably trying to talk yourself out of it and think that if you were to message them, they might think you’re crazy. DO IT ANYWAY. The person that came to your mind was brought there for a reason. Be obedient and do it.
Amy Poehler had a quote and part of it said this, “When you can wish good things for people and rejoice when they get it, so many gifts and blessings come to you that you cannot even imagine”.
My prayer is that as we are taking off our own masks this week, we’re also enabling others to do the same by the words of encouragement that we are going to speak.
If you complete this challenge, click LIKE on the Facebook status with today’s post, or send me a message and let me know how it goes. Cheering you on and praying you through!