Over the years heart disease has been dubbed “the silent killer.” But there is another disease of the heart which can be just as deadly, and just as subtle. It’s called discouragement. Discouragement is a slow but methodical killer that feeds upon the unresolved disappointments of your life. It is a predator of the human spirit, dragging its prey, over muffled pleas, to the dark cellar of broken dreams.
Discouragement steals hope and undermines your faith in the value and purpose of life. With cynicism, it sews seeds of bitterness and resignation. It sours you to life. True to its name, it relieves you of your courage, a precious gift of the heart. Discouragement is your enemy, the enemy of humanity, and of nature herself.
Discouragement flourishes in a society that has become psychopathic. As more and more people live only for themselves, individuals of a more caring and sensitive nature tend to become discouraged. Injured by the selfishness and arrogance of others, their wounds reach all the way to their heart. At this point there is a temptation to give up, or give in. Some retreat from the world to live their life in resignation, cynicism, or self-pity.
Discouragement is a product of evil, and a valuable product at that, for if you can break the enemy’s spirit, you no longer have to fight them. When you have “psyched them out,” they are now on your side even though they may claim to be on the other.
Oddly, some people prefer a state of discouragement to that of faith because it gives them an excuse to stop trying and striving. If the war can’t be won, then why fight it? They lament the state of the world or of their relationships while they absolve themselves of their responsibility to make things better. Some become fonder of complaining than changing. Most don’t appreciate that even small changes, like the ripples from a pebble dropped into a pond, grow in size and effect over time.
The important victories in this world are not about people or causes. They are about souls. Try not to lose yours in the course of battle. Say “No” to discouragement.
Copyright © Andy Drymalski, Ed.D.
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