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/.