I am in charge of a lot. I manage more than I should. I supervise more than I want. I get called when things go wrong. I am called to clean up. I am also called to straighten up the wayward or the pickle someone gets themselves into. These and many other things about my new job used to be easier with my recently transferred supervisor and friend around. I miss him. I must be nuts, because honestly, my training ground for the above was put into play by him. He was a constant source for my cleanup and my angst. But what was great about him, what he excelled at, was checking in. His very act of coming to sit with me in my office, to listen, to walk through options, to encourage and to affirm was exactly that, encouraging. There is no one encouraging me in particular now. I miss knowing if I am doing good work. I miss a pat on the back. I miss his sitting self.
Why, I very nearly sunk deep into a full blown pity party for myself. Until I listened to Joel Osteen speak on encouraging ourselves. What a great and novel idea. I suppose maybe it’s not that new. I guess I might have noticed that others are capable of encouraging themselves….and I might have pointed a finger at them and declared them “full of themselves” as a result. Joel illustrated his point by telling about his encouragement file. He keeps all the good communications about him and to him together in a file, then pulls it out to read and reread. I started collecting right away. I am building my own file. I am building my own encouragements since I don’t have great encouragers around me. Not even my best friends. (I have two sweet and dear men in my life but neither of them encourage well. Bless their hearts.) And my new boss is swell, but we don’t know each other well enough yet. He has really no idea how to encourage me, in what way, or why.
I guess I take inspiration from Philippeans 4. Some of my favorite verses
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
I think if I start listing the noble, the right, the pure, and the lovely and admirable, my list is long. I’ve managed a lot of forward motion. I have moved with authority and come along side those who need me to encourage them. And that is the real benefit of encouraging, being so with others.