Today, we wanted to offer you up a little encouragement via a thought-provoking devotional, included in our book “If I can Do All Things Through Christ, Why Can’t I find my Car Keys?” Take some time to read through it and really let it sink it.
Are You Really Fine?
“So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.”—Ephesians 4:25
Automatically I respond to the question “how are you?” without thinking. “Fine, thank you” or “Fine; how are you?” flow so freely, I don’t even realize the words have been said…or heard. Often the conversation continues without skipping a beat because this exchange has replaced “hello” in our culture.
Those asking may not be expecting anything other than “fine,” but most times, I am not fine—unless that is an acronym for “frustrated, insecure, nervous, [and] exhausted.” If so, then I am “fine” most days. How about you—can you relate to any of these?
- Frustrated: dissatisfied with the current situation. A career that isn’t the one you planned, or difficulty even finding employment. A marriage and/or children that don’t resemble your dreams—or wondering if they will ever happen at all. Not to mention common disruptions that upset the status quo, like traffic jams, illness, or unexpected repairs.
- Insecure: apprehensive about measuring up—to your own or other’s expectations. Fears and voices from past experiences that can still reverberate in your thoughts, whether it’s laughter at your expense or remarks that you didn’t make the team/meet the goals/fulfill the requirements/(fill in the blank). Or maybe (like me) just trying to handle it all perfectly by yourself and fearing failure.
- Nervous: anxious about the “what-if” situations of life. Worry about your families, test results from the doctor, the economy and lay-offs, crime statistics, and any number of issues—an endless list.
- Exhausted: fatigued, bushed, weary, drained, worn out…This section needs no further description, as it is far too familiar.
Every category occurs one day or another, and some days more than one applies. Yet I still say I’m “fine” when asked.
So what should we say? The cashier we just met doesn’t expect or need to hear our laments. But what about being honest with our brothers and sisters in Christ? What if I were more truthful about my circumstances, when appropriate? In Ephesians, Paul instructed the church about the unity they shared in Christ and reminded them of the support of fellow believers. We are not isolated individuals, but a community of encouragement.
I’m not always having a good day. Recently I admitted that to a friend when she asked “How are you?” She listened, encouraged me, and shared the burden in prayer. The support of a friend was worth being authentic for a few minutes.
By Coleen Jumper
We hope this encourages you to be honest today– and remember that it’s ok to let people know how you’re really doing. It’s amazing the support God provides through our friends and family!
For more devotions and other ministry helps, check out Group.com!