One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish—but what are they for so many?”
Are We Building or Destroying?
How often have you ever encountered people who tend to drag you down rather than build you up? Probably more often than you can count. Sometimes, in the midst of personal concerns, we hear advice from people who may mean well.
However, if we are not careful—because they do not have appropriate skills to help us—they really may not be able to help.
Who’s in Your Circle?
Consider Mr. Encouragement Andrew: “We’ll never have enough food to fill these baskets and feed all these hungry people? Who invited so many anyway?”
Or, do you work with Miss Gloom? She complains about work assignments, criticizes the boss, and never seems to have a good day.
It’s difficult to find positivity in the middle of negativity.
What Should One Do?
First, seek out those who center their lives on God. Second, stay away from those who tend to discourage you. Think about biblical characters like David who constantly encouraged himself by focusing on his surroundings and God’s blessings. (Sometimes the answers may be outside of ourselves or our circle of friends. Perhaps you look to experts such as counselors, Bible scholars, or physicians to help address your needs.)
Third, focus on your spiritual health. Read your Bible daily and apply the biblical teachings to your life. Fourth, eat healthy foods. Take care of your body by eating proper portions of a nourishing and wholesome diet. Also be aware of unhealthy habits which can lead to depression or alcohol consumption. Fifth, be sure to get adequate sleep and proper rest.
And remember: when issues arise that make you feel unbalanced, do not be afraid to ask for mental health advice from a trusted friend or minister at church.
Do the people in your life inspire you to be better or stay the same? Do you and your friends encourage each other? Think of one habit or trait you want to improve this week. Write it down. Share it with a friend. Will this friendship help you improve it? Pray to Jesus; ask Him to give you the courage to make positive changes in your life.