“Clothed in Encouragement” (10/40)

Day 15 – Friday, April 15th, 2016

For me it has been a rough fifteen days. I will confess that I have not strictly followed my own plans to abstain from a great deal of things as diligently as I had hoped. Last weekend was my girls’ trip to Nashville, where I found myself indulging for the sheer fun and relaxation of the moment. I’ll give myself some grace for that. But along the way I think I forgot my ultimate goal for the original abstention, the idea that something—many things—were more important than indulging in the moment.

You fuel your heart with six things: what you watch, what you read, what you listen to, who you surround yourself with, how you talk to yourself, and what you visualize. …We get frustrated and discouraged because we know deep down that we were created for so much more. You were created perfectly and meticulously for a purpose…but if you put the wrong fuel into your gas tank, it is very easy to get discouraged and break down as you go through the journey of life.
-Taken from Chop Water, Carry Wood by Joshua Medcalf

First, let me add that you also fuel yourself with what you eat, ha ha, to be quite literal. And quite seriously, the physical fuel you put in your body can very easily lead to breakdowns along the journey of life. I have had my share of physical breakdowns and am climbing my way out of the most recent one (pregnancy complications). It is very easy to become discouraged, which is why I keep challenging myself to do the next thing that will help me change my fuel and fill my gas tank up right. I must find the who or the what that brings the greatest encouragement.

It is all of those seven fuels together that make up the foundation of what makes you you. And I think overall, the purpose of the 90-Day Life-Change Challenge was to find out a little bit more of what makes me me, not to mention trying to make me a little bit better based on making better fuel choices. The Bible puts it this way:

Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].
Philippians 4:8 (AMP)

Basically, whom or what I watch, read, listen to, visualize, talk about and surround myself with should be based on these principles. They are what I should center my mind on and what I should implant in my heart. So I should be asking myself, is this TV show worthy of respect? Is this book I’m reading pure and wholesome? Is this song I’m listening to admirable? Is the company I keep of good repute? Is the way I talk to myself right and confirmed by God’s word?

And in all situations, as a good friend recently suggested, I should be asking myself, What’s the Truth in this? Because the Truth is all that matters here. What’s your Truth? …Selah…

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