The Disease of Discouragement

[196 words]

dis·cour·age·ment dəˈskərəjm(ə)nt 

  1. a loss of confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness.
  2. an attempt to prevent something by showing disapproval or creating difficulties; deterrent.

Where does discouragement come from? Let’s consider an interesting comment in the book of Ezra.

The book of Ezra tells the story of the rebuilding of the temple. Though the act is brought about by God and authorized by King Cyrus, it does not come about easily. In Chapter 4 we see those that are attempting to thwart the efforts. In Ezra 4:4 we read, “Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build.”

Notice how they discouraged them? They made them afraid. Where does discouragement come from? It’s right there in the etymology:

DIS = not

COURAGE = overcome fear

MENT = the state of

Discouragement comes when we fear. Fear is a powerful motivator but more often than not it’s one that stops us from doing something. That is why when fear is our primary motivator it usually doesn’t last long and doesn’t keep us motivated to go forward.

Don’t let fear rule you or you will find a lot of discouragement.

Barry Haynes
Hope church of Christ
Hope, AR

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