Recently I purchased a book simply because of a quote on the front cover, “If you do not learn how to encourage yourself, you cannot fulfill your destiny.”
That quote is a valid principle of life and leadership. Probably the clearest example of this principle is found in the life of David in 1 Samuel 30:1-8.
David and his men returned home to Ziklag after a military campaign to find that while they were away the Amalikites had burned the city, stolen their finances, and taken their wives and children captive.
The scripture says in 1 Samuel 30, verse 4 that David and his men, “wept until they could not weep anymore.” David was beyond discouraged and his men were so distraught that they contemplated stoning him.
The turning point in the whole story in verse 6b, “But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”
I want to focus on what David did as a leader that day to “to encourage himself in the Lord his God.” There are principles and practices in this story that can help us as leaders to learn how to encourage ourselves.
David had no one else, so David, “encouraged HIMSELF in the Lord His God.” Here is the first principle: Self-encouragement begins with you. I know that would seem to be a self-evident principle. While that may be true, it is not an often practiced principle.
As a leader, there are times when we are emotionally and physically depleted, circumstances are not encouraging, and those closest to us seem to turn against us. (Thank God no one has actually wanted to stone us.) It is in those occasions and how we decide to respond that determines our destiny!
David did NOT decide to NOT be discouraged he DID decide to WORSHIP! I am not suggesting that self-encouragement is simply a positive attitude or a Pollyanna approach to life. I am stating that David realized he had to get a different perspective on his situation.
David made a decision to do something about his situation. That decision began with him. Based on past experience he knew that when he got into the presence of God, his perspective changed.
Leaders lead, make decisions, based on what they know, NOT on how they feel! David knew from past experience what he needed to do in his present situation.
The First Principle: Self-encouragement begins with yourself.
The First Practice: Decide to do something; decide to act like a leader.
I believe in you! Together we are building the Kingdom of God in Virginia.