To the encourager: Yes, you. The one who is always there for others. The one who puts on a happy face to encourage others when your own heart is breaking. The one who affirms others’ worth and restores their hope.
I admire you. People are drawn to you. It’s because they know you are trustworthy and compassionate. They believe you will be there for them when they need it. They trust you with their heart and circumstances.
But I also know the truth: You are often the last to be encouraged. You stay busy building up others, filling up their well. But sometimes you can get depleted. Sometimes it feels your own well is running dry. I understand. But then, in turn, we cannot give out what we do not have.
“But watch yourselves, or your hearts will be weighed down by dissipation, drunkenness, and the worries of life–and that day will spring upon you suddenly like a snare.” (Luke 21:34)
Take heart, dear friend. God sees you. He loves you. What you have done for others, you have done for Him and it pleases Him. He will be with you and honor you.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all” (Psalm 34:17-19)
But also know, it’s not only alright to take care of you, it’s essential. Just like the cliché says, “Put on your own oxygen mask before attempting to assist others.”
While we are called to help one another with their burdens, taking care of yourself glorifies God.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
When you take care of your body, you are also taking care of His temple.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
God also calls us to be a good witness. As an encourager, people are watching you. So taking care of yourself is a good example to them of what God calls us to do as part of our Christian walk.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
If you want to continue encouraging others for their good and His glory, it’s important that you take care of yourself so you have the energy and emotional reserves it takes to pour out. It’s not selfish, it’s essential.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)
As you so often do for others, let me offer a prayer for you.
I bring this one before your throne. This one who exemplifies you and puts others first. This one who encourages the heart of those despairing and in need. Father, you know that we cannot give what we do not have, and that the wear and tear of life’s trials can leave us depleted. I ask you now to fill their well. Reignite their fire. Answer their cries. Heal their own brokenness. You alone are mighty to save, and the lifter of our head. Do that now for their good and their glory, so that they can continue to bear testimony of your goodness and faithfulness to a hurting world. In Jesus’ name I ask, Amen.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.
Thank you, Michelle. I really needed to hear this. I love to encourage. Since I deal with a chronic illness, sometimes I can’t encourage as much as I’d like to. I also still deal with emotional triggers from past abuse, though I have come a long way on the healing journey. I feel so selfish if I step back and take care of my own needs. I know I need to get that out of my system, so thank you for this encouraging reminder. Have a blessed week!
Michelle, Thank you! I started crying the other day in the middle of a text. We were all dealing with some sad news and someone said, I forgot to ask you, How are you? Being strong for everyone else is difficult and tiring. Thank you for the reminder of what I preach, we must take good care of ourselves. I can preach it but living it sometimes super difficult.
This is a wonderful post. I am the one who encourages. I’ve often struggled over the years because there is no one to encourage me. Yet, it’s my nature and I know that God doesn’t make mistakes. I have learned to take care of myself by getting into the Word and listening to God’s voice. One thing that really helps me is to take a quiet walk by myself and listen and commune with Jesus. When I am really down, I have a couple of very good friends that I’ll tell how I am feeling. Both are very good with telling me that I am enough just the way I am.
Michelle, This post means a lot to me and was so encouraging. Several of the verses you choose are ones that were very special to me already so it was like God was right there reminding me of some things. The prayer at the end – that was a blessing! Thank you!
It’s so easy to give, give, give and then not have the energy to do anything ourselves. I’m learning how to say no and prioritize! It can be difficult sometimes!
Wonderful; thank you.
I wish to send this to YOU 🙂
Much love and many prayers, encourager of so many!!
Thank you, Michelle. I imagine you learned this from experience. I will share with a friend who would appreciate your encouragement to not neglect herself in the midst of helping another.
I love this so much, Michelle. This is something I have to very conscious of because I most definitely have the gift of encouragement. But, I can have the expectation that others approach me with the same intent – and that isn’t often the case. God has encouraged me to “be the someone I need someone to be” and know that using my gift is for His glory, not so I’ll receive it in return. I agree – right perspective and proper care make all the difference. Thanks for sharing today. So glad I visited from #coffeeforyourheart, and I’ve pinned your post!
What a beautiful post. Love all the scriptures…great things to remember. I talked to my sister today who is in a really hard place in life because of the emotional and psychological abuse of some people around her. I’ve never her heard her so worn out before. I’m glad to have happened upon this post today at the Home Matters Link Party…I shared this with her and am hoping it will bring some light to her day. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing this truth with us: “If you want to continue encouraging others for their good and His glory, it’s important that you take care of yourself.” Often those who encourage others are the last ones to accept encouragement themselves, but we all need it!
I have been blessed with at least 2 encourager friends, who no matter what I shared, they lifted me up and blessed the socks off me. I do want to be that encourager person for others. God knows my heart, but my mouth often needs a check. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.
Thanks, Michelle. This is a battle I’ve fought extensively. When to step back, take care of myself, not feel guilt, and allow myself to be the encouraged. I think I’m getting better at it, though! Little itty bitty step by itty bitty step ♥
Blessings and smiles,
Oh my, this hits me right between the eyes. I will expend myself for someone else and leave myself depleted with not enough rest or not eating properly or something. Taking a burden on myself and hopefully lifting it off someone else is what I do love to do but I am not meant to carry it either. Thank you for this awesome beautiful reminder. I will seek to do better at taking care of me so I can help take care of you, Michelle and others in need. I love and appreciate you so much!!