2 Corinthians 13:10-12 (New International Version, ©2010)
This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down. Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
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We have to stop allowing this to happen. We must hold one another accountable to the promises God has laid out, to what his word says about us, and encourage one another to speak those words to ourselves. Encourage one another to be honest, but kind, realistic and bold, but with hope. We need to encourage our own selves, as often as we encourage one another in what God has before us. If we are not where we want to be, let us start coming up with solutions rather than kicking ourselves repeatedly (anyone else tired of self inflicted bruises?). And please, do not minimize yourself in your speech in order to sound more humble. Let's be honest in where we are, where we have come, and where we are going. It is ok to speak of our accomplishments, as long as we are giving credit to the one who has gifted, equipped, and guided us. Do not minimize God by minimizing yourself. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am where I am because of God's grace and mercy. I know his love for me has so exceeded what I have deserved, and I am thankful for all that He has allowed me to do and what He is preparing me to do. I will not be ashamed of his creation, myself included. Am I a work in progress? Oh yes friend, yes indeed. And this work in progress will grow and flourish, especially when surrounded by love.
Besides, there is enough hardship in this life, we do not need to add to it by slipping our hands into boxing gloves and turning them on ourselves.
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