You Can Do It
Bible Reading: Hosea 2:20
I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as Lord. Hosea 2:20
Remember Joanna? She’s the girl who saw herself as a slug. (See November 8.)
When you understand Joanna’s background, it’s no surprise she feels like she messes up everything she does. Joanna’s stepfather, Buck, was a hard worker who pushed Joanna to be the best at everything she tried. His favorite way of getting Joanna to try harder was humiliation. If Joanna didn’t make an all-out effort, Buck made fun of her. Over the years he gave Joanna nicknames like Dummy, Stupid, Clumsy, Tubby, and Numbhead. The more he ripped into Joanna, the more frazzled she felt and the more mistakes she made.
With all those ugly messages burned into her brain, Joanna grew up with an I-can’t-do-anything-right attitude. Under pressure to succeed, she failed to keep her first job. Now she has kept a low-stress, low-pay job for ten years, but her performance would earn her a C-minus or a D back at school. She can’t see herself for who she really is, a person loved by God no matter how much she accomplishes.
Talk about it: How do people wind up hurt and handicapped like Joanna? What could have helped her feel capable?
As family and friends, we have the chance to give each other some essential ingredients that can keep us from feeling like slugs. Here are three ways we can help each other:
Give encouragement. When people are always criticized, blamed, or embarrassed for what they do, their confidence and motivation are shaken. Why try if they always fail? Encouragement helps others feel capable.
Give practical support. Everyone needs burden-bearers who come alongside and share the weight of a difficult task or trial. God doesn’t plan for any of us to depend only on ourselves.
Show appreciation. None of us are 100 percent good at everything we try. Some people even struggle at tasks the rest of us think are easy. But everyone has a trait or talent worth appreciating—things like effort, helpfulness, positive attitude, determination, or willingness to try.
Families and friends can make or break us as we grow up. God invites us to give each other the encouragement, support, and appreciation we need to feel confident in every step of life. Get to it!
TALK: How can we treat each other in ways that make us feel capable? What three ingredients are important?
PRAY: God, fill us with confidence. You make us capable.
ACT: Help someone feel capable today. Show a friend or family member some encouragement, support, or appreciation.