Thursday, May 8, 2014

Responding to Words of Despairing Discouragement

We talk to ourselves
And put ourselves down
The more corrosive our thoughts
The more we end up in a frown.
But the challenge remains
To correct every thought
By Christ we must conform them
So by the enemy we are not caught.
DISCOURAGEMENT occurs quickly by the prevalence of thought – suddenly from a relative time of calm we go into a moment of despair. Deeper down we have not noticed that the thoughts we have propagated are central to the phenomenon.
The words come from within; inside us is the force, destructive.
It is a meld of unmet expectations, a lack of recognition from without, a sense for disappointment; it is invasive because it occurs ‘to’ us, from a level below the conscious awareness. You may feel it now as you read these words. What are you saying to yourself about yourself?
Such a vexing phenomenon can be scary and it certainly is debilitating.
We do speak some rubbish to ourselves – unchecked rubbish. Not that this propensity for speaking rubbish to ourselves ought to be further reason for despairing discouragement. But this is invariably what happens. It all occurs against the flow of our beneficence.
***
The essence of Christ in us – the Holy Spirit – is the empowerment of our psyches to overcome the rubbish and to resonate, again, with the truth.
To be a disciple of Christ to the effect of maturity is being able to respond intuitively and instinctively to the breaking rain of criticism; the thunder that berates our souls, rocking them into the crevice that destines us toward that abyss called no-good-place.
Such a response is to steady our gait in the torrent of rain; to withstand its force as it breaks, hitting us like it hits the glass of the windshield.
To be a disciple of the living Lord is to be committed to the journey of leaving our thoughts at the foot of the cross – and to receive the encouragement needed.
We will see an eternally relevant imperative to leave our thoughts there – right where they might be slain for God by the Holy Spirit – in order to pick up what we cannot even contemplate losing once we accept it.
There is grace in the mode of leaving what we cannot keep at the foot of the cross in order to receive what we cannot lose; power to be encouraged right in the midst of despairing discouragement.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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