Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 11.11.15 – How Do You Deal With Discouragement?


If the question in the title drew you in, let me clarify it. How do you deal with discouragement that isn’t your own?

Let me go back to my own recent history. I trained all year this year to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I planned to run my qualifying race on October 11. On Friday night, two nights before the race, I got sick. My stomach settled enough to go the starting line Sunday, but physically I was simply still too weak.

Many well intentioned people have encouraged me by congratulating me on making it seventeen miles in the race before dropping out, or bringing up other positive aspects about the race.

And while I do appreciate the kind words, none can remove the disappointment.

How do you deal with someone else’s disappointment?

What’s your approach to someone dealing with a situation, a relationship, a goal, an opportunity, that just didn’t work out?

A kind-hearted phrase (like telling someone whose dog just died that there are other dogs) may make you feel better, but it’s unlikely to help the person struggling.

If you’re reading this, you probably know someone struggling right now. We almost all do.

Can we just spend time with them, reassuring them that both God and we as friends are willing to be with them during their disappointment? Can we comfortably exist with someone in a difficult season without immediately trying to steer a course out of either the conversation or the season itself?

Think. Does the disappointment of friends or family make you uncomfortable?

Act. Do your best to show commitment to someone in a season of disappointment without a ton of words and without the urgency to cover it up. Staying next to someone in that type of season can give them the space to heal and help them know there’s no rush.


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