What separates the masses?
Is it really personality, style, race, religion, or creed? I have been in situations where I have seen a rich man cry over the breakup of his marriage. I have seen a poor woman’s frustration concerning a child, who has left home to make a name for themself and they rarely call home. As a teacher, I have held hands with children that look nothing like me physically, but wanted the love of a parent. We all want love and acceptance.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.2Corinthians 1:3-5
We aren’t too different. We all long for acceptance and reassurance. I know there will be some that say, I am not needy. I could manage without a “pat on the back”, but there have been several studies that shows human encouragement are the building blocks to a healthy state of mind.
One of Maslow’s levels of needs is the achievement of self-esteem *(Maslow, 1954). One aspect of this is the esteem we receive from others **(Rowan, 1998). People develop a need to be respected by those they respect. Maslow suggests that satisfying this need leads to feelings of self-confidence, worth, strength, and of being useful and necessary in the world (Rowan, 1998). However, Maslow (1987) also indicates that not satisfying this need produces feelings of inferiority, weakness and helplessness.
Here’s a little analogy with some real truth in it:
One day, the devil was auctioning off his tools. That is, all but one tool. It was such a high price, no one could afford it. When someone asked why, he said, “That’s my favorite tool. It’s the tool of discouragement. I use it to pry open a life and when I get inside, I can do all kinds of damage with my other tools of hatred, lust, envy, jealousy, and pride.”~Adrian Rogers
I guess sometimes as we go along in our day, we look at the differences in those around us, and it blocks us from being the representative of “The God of All Comfort”. I am not saying advocating and encouraging sin or approving unGodly lifestyles; but if we are open to Christ’s heart of compassion, we’ll see many, along the way, who need an encouraging word.
Are you a comforting person? Are you an encourager or are you one who discourages? You could be the difference in a person’s healthy perception of who God has made them to be. Many who have given themselves to unhealthy or addictive behaviours have allowed what others say about them control their behaviour or affect their self-image.
Contrary to the well-known saying, words CAN hurt us, affecting our self-esteem and level of confidence, causing us stress and unhappiness and this is especially true when we consider what words we use when we describe ourselves.-Kristin Hutchings