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Sept 9 Devo

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  • Sept 9 Devo

    The Mind of the Discouraged

    I hear first impressions are really important. Thoughts and opinions can be formed in that first meeting that might never change. And that . . . can be discouraging. I don’t think anyone ALWAYS puts their best foot forward. (I know I don’t.) And then what? What if I believe, no matter what I do, you’ll never change your negative opinion of me?

    I imagine that would have consequences regarding how hard I try to make things better. I think we can learn from Job’s lowest point. Just keep in mind a couple of things here. One: Job is extremely, understandably, discouraged. Two: he doesn’t really under-stand the situation. This has led him to view God in an imperfect way. Having made that clear I’ll tell you this is one of those situations where Job doesn’t believe there is anything that can make the situation better.

    And consider the consequences found in Job 9:27-31. Job doesn’t see the point of trying to fake an “everything’s all right.” That won’t change anything.Heal so doesn’t see the
    point of trying,saying:“Since I am already found guilty,why should I struggle in vain?” (Job 9:29). Finally, Job says that even if he does get clean again it won’t matter because he believes that he would just get plunged back into the muck.

    Yeah, that’s one discouraged guy.

    Fortunately for Job he wasn’t right. God did restore him again. But take this opportunity to see into the mind of a discouraged person! Without hope of positive change peo-ple stop struggling to make things better. All they have left is their complaint. Consider now the level of grace and forgiveness you show to other people. When they fall, when they stumble over their best foot, do you lift them up or try and make sure they stay down? When people are trying to wipe the dirt off do you shove them back into the mud? Does the way you look at someone tell them that you have found them guilty and you will always find them guilty? If so I suspect something unfortunate will happen. I think they will decide it’s not worth struggling in vain. Is that the Christian message? “Don’t bother, you’ll always be guilty in my eyes?” Or is the message more like “come and wash away the mud. I will remember your guilt no more. Be restored again!”?

    One message leads to hope and a renewed effort. One leads to giving up. Be sure you share the right one.

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    Camden Ave Church of Christ