Yesterday I wrote about how I had been feeling burdened, burned out, and depressed by life in ministry, but God encouraged me through the amazing teachings in the Just One Conference for women in ministry. Today’s post is the second part of what I learned in this hour-long (FREE) online conference!
What I Learned from the Just One Conference (continued)
Theme Verse: Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. 1 Tim. 4:12
- Lead by your Words by Jenni Catron: Our words have the power to be a blazing fire that destroys or a warm flame that brings comfort. We all know how words can be used to hurt: gossip, complaining, insults, etc. Instead of just refraining from those bad things, I need to focus on using words for good. Don’t just think a compliment: say it! Tell people what you like or appreciate about them. Speak life into the lives of those around you. Sometimes we get so busy or preoccupied that we don’t say the good things that people need to hear about themselves. Sometimes we withhold good words out of envy or jealousy. In thinking on this I’ve discovered that I often don’t say the good things I’m thinking because of my own insecurity. I find myself thinking: what do they care what I think about them? Why would a compliment from me mean anything to them? But I’ve found that even people who seem very self-confident and secure need to hear good things, and I need to be more intentional about speaking life, truth, and comfort into the lives of those around me.
- Leading through our Demeanor by Michelle Meeks: This lesson was really fun to listen to because Michelle was standing in her laundry room with her 4 month old baby strapped to her while she talked to us about our attitude! Our demeanor (our attitude or presence) communicates just as loudly as our words. Our presence makes a difference and our attitude will often be imitated. Too many times lately I’ve found myself weighed down by the burdens of others. People in the church and community are going through so many hard things. My husband and I try to come along-side them and help bear their burdens, but too often I allow myself to think that I have to carry their load rather than helping them give their worries and cares to God. When I am weighed down (like I was before this conference) I can choose to respond by hiding (avoiding contact with people, staying away from church events, isolating myself), by pretending (putting on the smile and shaking everyone’s hand while giving only superficial answers to people’s well-meaning questions), or by turning those burdens over to God and allowing Him to heal me and redeem those issues for His own glory. Needless to say, I’ve been choosing options 1 & 2 for the last several months. Definitely gonna work on making option 3 my default response! The other big thing I took away from this session was that my heart will respond to people and situations based on what it is filled with. In other words, if my heart is filled with worry, frustration, stress, or a bad attitude, then when the pressure is on all that bad stuff will spill out into my response. But if I am intentional about filling my heart with God’s truth and love then my response to pressure will be one filled with grace, love and truth that could only come from God!
So much good stuff to chew on here! Tune in tomorrow for a bit more from the Just One Conference. 🙂
PS. I’d love to hear your thoughts on attitude, words, encouragement, stress, or anything else that has come to mind as you read today. Leave a comment below!