I’d been at my new editing job for less than a week, and already I’d offended someone. No matter that I’d prayed over every single article, prayed for my attitude, humility, comments and thoughts–still, somehow I’d allowed an author to feel as if her work wasn’t good enough. It was an accident! I want so much to honor the writers I edit.
A brief email. She wasn’t rude, but I could read between the lines. I’d hurt her feelings, maybe overstepped my bounds with the changes I’d made to her article.
It took a few hours, a few emails; finally we seemed to resolve the issue. Surely, I could carry on with my evening–just let it go. But my heart was still stuck in my feet. I hate to let someone down. I hate to hurt someone’s feelings. Back to the computer, I kept reading, kept typing, kept working.
Ding! A new email, but I was hesitant to check it. Bravely, I clicked through to a message from another author. She wrote, “Hi Abby, Rough day? Feel free to do anything you want [when you edit my articles]. (They are His articles-not mine!) Rewrite, edit, change, etc.”
My spirits rose. As I whispered a prayer of thanks. Proverbs 12:25 came to mind, “Anxiety in the heart weighs a man down, but a good word makes him glad.”
Whose heart can you buoy with a good word today?
Growing up, I was told, “Maybe your spiritual gift is encouragement. You’re a Barnabas.” Honestly, that didn’t sound like a very awesome spiritual gift. I mean, anyone can do that right? But I think what makes Encouragers different from those who occasionally, situationally offer encouragement, is sincerity. It takes a depth of sincerity to look optimistically into all circumstances, multiple failures and search for the grimy diamond in the rough. And it takes wisdom because sometimes the best encouragement means NOT saying the right thing, in fact, not saying anything at all.
I’m certainly not tooting my own horn here. I’m still in “debation” (a word my sister made up) as to whether or not I am an Encourager. But I do know a few such individuals. That would be my youngest sister and my friends Beth and Dana.
I want to be an Encourager. I want to spur one another on to love and good deeds. But I just learned today that “spur” doesn’t mean always saying the right and “nice” things. It’s more like a spur in the side of a horse, a burr under the saddle, a little bit of an irritating nudge sometimes.
thoughts inspired by this lovely woman: Lisa Jo Baker
First, the big news! Next Thursday you are going to privileged to read a post by one of my dearest friends, Beth Petrashek. You can check out her blog here. But you have to promise to visit “Predatory Lies” again – even when she isn’t guest posting!
Beth and I went to Oklahoma State University together, albeit a few years apart. Almost accidentally, we met at a Bible study her junior year. Our hearts grew together quickly. Beth is “the friend that sticks closer than a brother.” She is more honest with me, whether it be in encouragement or conviction, than anyone else I know. How I love her.
Beth is married to Ken Petrashek and lives in Stillwater, OK. The only thing she loves more than her husband is Jesus. Welcome Beth, and thank you for sharing. I love you!
(And one little announcement: Occasionally I write for other websites. Today I wrote an article on encouraging Bible verses. If I hadn’t written it there, I should have posted it here! So, here’s the link.)