Do not be discouraged at your faults; bear with yourself in
correcting them, as you would with your neighbor. Lay aside this ardor of mind,
which exhausts your body, and leads you to commit errors. Accustom
yourself gradually to carry prayer into all your daily occupations.
Speak, move, work, in peace, as if you
were in prayer, as indeed you ought to be.
— François Fénelon
There is not much to say after a quote like this one! We so often times deprive ourselves of positivity, encouragement and being “okay” within our own skin. You cannot be genuinely kind to your neighbor if you are not kind to yourself.
You and I need to make a conscience effort to be kind to ourselves. Here are three foundational ways:
1. Deflect – We tend to focus on the negative. If you find yourself in a pattern of negative thoughts that even are becoming negative talk…turn your thoughts away from the negative…maybe even just STOP your thoughts! Realize what you are doing and find something joyful, positive to focus on. Sometimes we also need to remove outside negative sources, such as websites we visit, T.V. shows we watch or co-workers or friends who tend to have a negative outlook.
2. Meditate – Scripure is the best place to turn when you need uplifting, spiritual thoughts in your head. Make an effort to memorize a verse or two a week. Save the verse as your wallpaper on your phone or computer, write it on an index card to keep with you in your car, or even write it on your bathroom mirror.
3. Encourage – To help yourself through this process of changing the foundations of your thought patterns, be encouraged. Tell a close friend what you are going through and ask them to hold you accountable and encourage you during this difficult change. Use Scripture for encouraging reading and study, and prayer for focus on praise, thanksgiving and intercession. Surround yourself with those things that are “true, noble, authentic and beautiful”.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Phillippians 4:8-9 msg
Written By: Kim Touchton
Special Events Coordinator for Florida Women’s Ministries