Tuesday, June 1, 2010

ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.
Charles R. Swindoll

Now, why did I begin with a quote and show you a picture of a Mimosa Tree? The Mimosa Tree is my favorite tree. It is silky. It is soft, and it is beautiful. As you walk close to a Mimosa Tree you can already smell the fragrance. It gives off this scent that just captivates you as it washes over you. It is a tree that just seems to reflect beauty in a soft, loving way.

As I read this quote this morning it touched me tremendously. I love how Mr. Swindoll says, "Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it." This is just so true in our lives. We cannot control all that happens in our lives, but we can face it with dignity, and have an attitude with a captivating fragrance. How we react to things can either make situations worse or better.

If someone is standing on a tall building, about to take their jump to death, we are going to berate them, scream at them and tell them how dumb they are? Even know we know that choice is not good, and in fact it may be dumb, we need to talk them off that edge with love. So many times those on the edge are there because they are not feeling love from others, they feel alone, and they feel as though they have not been forgiven of a disastrous choice.

You can't have encouragement without love. And you can't love without encouragement. They go hand and hand together. Give someone hurtful words and you can see the pain on their face. Give someone loving, encouraging words and you see the smile, the load they have been carrying lighten, and you see a new sparkle.

Our words can do one of two things, lift or put down. So, why not use words to lift up the spirit, to awaken new senses, to open up new blossoms. Do you know what those new blossoms carry? Many seeds for new growth.

Now, lets get back to the Mimosa Tree. Although this tree is little in comparison to others, it is mighty when the sunlight is upon it. Although it is so delicate, so tender, it can stand alone. When you pass by a Mimosa, you know it just by the sheer beautiful fragrance. When you touch one of the blooms it just seems to reach back, and isn't that how encouragement works? When we are encouraging to others, it seems as though it's contagious. And what a contagious fragrance that is to be under. Ever smell something really bad? If there is something smelly in the trash, we don't leave it there for all to smell. We don't want to invite others over to smell it. People tend to move far away from smells that take their breath away. If something is in the trash and it is tearing us up, making all around smell, we throw it out, get rid of it as soon as possible. Now, bring that sweat aroma of the Mimosa in and you want to sit it on your table for everyone to see. The same is with encouragement. When we encourage it brightens the other. It gives them room to step out and do more. It lets them know they are loved and thought of. Encouraging will only allow others to soar a higher level than they thought possible.

You know, you can take a Mimosa Tree and plant it in an area that has been torn up and destroyed and it will take root and blossom. It gives nutrients to the soil around it. Here is a tree that gives more than it takes. It blossoms, it grows, it spreads it seeds, and plants where they land. Now isn't that a beautiful way to look at our lives? I want my life to give off a beautiful scent. I want to give more than I take. I want to spread those seeds so more can grow. And I want my roots firmly planted in the love of Christ.

See, I just need to concern myself with my attitude and what kind of fragrance I am giving off. Am I running others out of the room or am I inviting them in for a closer look? Am I encouraging those around me? Wherever I am planted I just need to bloom right there wherever I am. Whether I am in an area that is sweet or one that is hard to bare, I need to give off that aroma that makes them wonder, "What is that beautiful scent?"

Wherever you are today, spread some encouragement to those around you. Need some encouragement yourself? If your not receiving encouragement know that there is a God above who wants to be your encourager. He wants to shine before you, so that you may shine before others. There are times when we don't have that encouragement we need around us, so what do we do? We get into His word, we dig deep and we don't leave His word until we feel His presence surrounding us. God is our Great Encourager, and He knows just what needs encouragement and what needs thrown out. Allow God to water you today. Plant your roots firmly in Him, and you just watch how beautiful the blossoms are!
Ephesians 4:29 "Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." NLT

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