Encouraging a Different Way

     I see sooo many posts of facebook encouraging to remove "negative people from your life", "follow your heart", "finally put yourself first".  Many people love this sort of thing.  They promote you to be happy.  Friends and family often comment on these sort of things and back them 100%.  They mean well.  When we love someone, we don't want to see them hurting.  

     However, as believers, we should exercise a bit of caution.  Edify and lift one another up as often as possible in a Godly way.  It is surely okay to wish someone happiness.  It is okay to wish they didn't have negativity in their life. 

      There are absolutely times to walk on from situations and not cast pearls before the swine as scripture says.  We must take care that all of this is kept in a Biblical perspective.

     Sometimes we are simply encouraging too much "self".  As believers, we need to remember the message in the Word.  The Word says to deny self.  We are to take up His cross and follow Him.  We are to remain separated from the world and follow a narrow path.  We should place the needs of others before ourselves.  Our duty to God comes above all.

     I know that how we follow that narrow path, some things we just won't agree on.  We have different gifts and personalities.  We are called to do different things.  That is okay.  The paramount thing is to seek the Word and the Holy Spirit to figure it all out.  Acting on our emotions, like happiness, will lead us astray.  I know I am an emotional creature.  When I act out of reaction to on of my strong emotions, often I get into trouble.  Not always, but it is often true.  It is something I have to be careful about.

     Using the worldly gauge of happiness will get us no where.  Only the peace that comes from following Christ should be our real gauge.  When you encourage and edify others, don't push them to follow self happiness.  Encourage them to follow God's leading.  Encourage them to refresh in the Word.  Encourage them to prayer and fasting.  Encourage them to follow the narrow path....even if it hurts.  

Matthew 16:24-26

King James Version (KJV)
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?