Encourager or Discourager: Which are you?

I’m not a fan of people who think everything is a competition. Most of the time, I am not trying to show others that I am more awesome then they are. When I talk to you I want to hear you, share with you, connect with you…not compare myself to you or try to impress you.

I have a “friend” who is like this. It has gotten to the point where I almost can’t stand to be around him because there is nothing I can say that doesn’t get “one upped” by him. If I have one kid who’s sick…he has two kids sick, if I got 8 hours of sleep…he got 9, if I had fun weekend…he had a better on, and so on. I wish I was making this up, but I literally can’t think of a conversation we have had where this doesn’t happen. It’s quite exhausting. It has gotten to where I want to avoid him when I see him coming because our interaction doesn’t feed me; it takes it out of me.

You know what is worse? When this happens between people in regards to health. I always struggle with those that feel the need to one up everyone else. If I lost 2 lbs they lost 4, if I ran 3 miles they ran 5, and so on. I’ll be honest, these people make me feel like I am not being successful. Their desire to make themselves seem better comes at the expense of making others feel weak. It shouldn’t be this way.

On the flip side, I have another friend who does everything he can to encourage and uplift. He is a trainer and has overcome many obstacles of his own and yet he always makes me feel important and valued. When I want to talk about him, he is gracious and humble. I enjoy this guy. I like talking to him…not because he makes me feel good, but because there is no competition. We can talk about almost anything comfortably.

So, here’s the question to think about; which one are you? Do you find yourself always looking for a way to highlight yourself or do you enjoy highlighting others? Is your worth tied to how much better you are or to how much better you can make others feel? I know you may have times where you have been on both sides. But, where do you land most often…where do you see yourself?

Becoming less focused on ourselves makes us more like Christ. John 3:30 says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” I must decrease…that means I must become less, be not as important as others, remove myself so that He can be seen, put aside my desire to shine…get it?

Stop trying to impress, stop seeking to let your accomplishments show, stop the competition. Let Him increase, listen to others, let Christ use you to encourage someone today.

– Mark Cornelison 

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