An Encouraging Ear
Sometimes when we encourage others, we need some encouragement in return. I remember needing a little encouragement one day and someone I knew asked about my business ventures, and the moment I started to share with them, they began telling me in great detail about their family member’s business. I had barely spoken a couple of words, but here I was nodding and listening politely to the story about his family member and how big he was going to make it. It was as if asking about my business had just been something to do. No real concern. No real interest. I started reflecting back, and it wasn’t the first time this had happened recently. Another person I had shared my business ventures with began telling me how successful her family member was in comparison to what I was doing. After that remark, I had to remember that one of our jobs as Christians is not to be easily offended, so again, I smiled and nodded.
These occurrences made me stop and think about the fact that often, we have to encourage ourselves if we want to keep moving forward in life. In both cases, I know these individuals meant no harm. They only did what so many of us do, which is relinquish the opportunity to listen and encourage someone else, by directing the conversation back on themselves or people they know. Both persons had initially asked about my business, but left me only to share a sentence or two about it, and in so many words insinuated that their family member’s business was so much bigger and better than mine. Don't gasp. That's life; it happens. Thank God for the spirit of “Hush.” I didn’t say anything, but rather encouraged them and appreciated the fact that their family member was doing so great! In reflecting on those two conversations, I feel like maybe those two people needed the encouragement even more than me at that moment, even if the success was indirectly related to them.