Out of the Pit: What to Do When You Are Discouraged


When I am super discouraged or my hope is deferred, I am very careful of whom I talk to. I don’t want anyone speaking death over me or agreeing with what is going on or giving me advice that is in contradiction to the truth of the Word of God. Every time, I am very careful of whom I speak to and whom I lock arms with.

Everyone’s steadfastness in the Lord can have highs and lows—with moments of really strong commitment and, other times, feelings of weakness. If I focus on my circumstances, I can easily become discouraged. When I focus on the face of Jesus, everything He paid for on the cross, and the truth of God’s Word, my hope can be revived. He has been faithful in the past, and He will be faithful today. He is faithful today, and He will be faithful tomorrow. My God is good, but sometimes I have to ask myself, “Do I really believe who God says He is? Do I believe it?”
What I do to get myself out of a pit—because I seem to be in one this morning—is start praying. I tell God how I really feel. I don’t hold back. I give Him all my ugly thoughts and all my ugly words. I give Him all my doubt and disappointment. I confess it all.

The next thing I do is start asking Him whom I could talk to, who could encourage me. I don’t need anybody to crawl into a pit with me because then we would both be stuck down low. I need someone who is up high and will encourage me with mercy, love, and truth. I need someone who will say, “That sucks, but God is really the only person or thing we can put our hope in.” I ask the Lord to bring someone to mind, or I simply listen and wait for peace. He will direct my steps if I ask Him. “You do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:2 NIV). But if you seek Him, you will find Him.

Sometimes I don’t talk to anyone else. I let the Holy Spirit be my comforter. Today what came to mind was that I needed to call into a prayer line with beliefs similar to mine. I know without a doubt, 100% of the time, they will strongly encourage me. They will agree with me in the truth and renew my hope. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and it is certain. It is absolutely resolved. It is believing for things that aren’t seen; it’s not visible. It’s impossible for man’s eye to see, but I am sure it is there.

I am reminded of the testimony of a man named Allen Moore. He had a stroke. He is not supposed to be able to walk or talk. His MRI to this date reveals that the part of his brain related to these abilities does not work. With man’s eye, it appears he should not be talking or walking, yet he does. I have met him personally, and he is walking and talking—living the unseen.

I start reminding myself of all the things God has done for me in my life and my family. I start reminding myself of the miracles and the power of God that have been on display in my life for years. As I do that, it encourages me. I am encouraging and sharpening myself in the Lord and in the truth. It awakens me and gives me hope. It gets rid of doubt. It doesn’t increase my faith, but it begins to smash out any doubt so my hope can be renewed. When my hope is renewed, faith is restored. Faith is present.

I can use my imagination in faith to see a part of my body completely healed and whole again. I imagine what it would look like the next time I am able to see it. I’m not going to look at it again until I have done this for a while and I feel it is time.

When I fall into a pit, this is what I do to get out of it. How about you?

Encourage Yourself in the Lord


Several years ago, I got an offer to go work for a company in Dallas. I drove down to check everything out. Wow. I couldn’t believe rush hour traffic. Rush hour started at three o’clock and lasted until seven o’clock every evening. That is four hours. Your commute from home to work could easily be ninety minutes to two hours. My friends did it often. They would leave for the office by 6 a.m. so they could beat traffic on the way to the office, and they would come home at seven. I thought about the quality of life, and I turned that job down quickly.

In rush hour, you are never alone. There’s traffic everywhere. Everywhere you look, you see people, and you can wave and smile at people. On the other hand, sometimes if you’re driving at night on a country road, you may not see anyone for an hour.

                                      015

Scripture says there is a wide path and a narrow path. I think of it in terms of traffic. The wide path is like rush hour traffic. It’s busy. Most people are on this road, going in the same direction. They’re all on a mission to get somewhere, from here to there, point A to point B. The narrow path is the less-traveled road. The people on it are few and far between. You might be walking all by yourself for a while before you see another person passing by.
I think the narrow path in Christ can feel lonely at times. You can look around and see the busy rush hour traffic, but you don’t jump in and join it. You choose to take a secondary road. It’s like deciding, “I’m getting off of interstate 40 onto this side road. I’m going to take the backwoods route.”
Think about it. When you get off onto those secondary roads, they’re more peaceful and winding. They’re beautiful. But sometimes the rest stop is a backwoods mechanic shop with a filthy bathroom. The towns are few and far between. Sometimes you have to pee in the grass. It can be challenging to take the narrow path of God because it isn’t traveled by as many people.
Christians can fall into the trap of doing things because everyone else is doing them. Sometimes we don’t even think about it or we figure, “It’s okay for this family, so it’s okay for our family.” I see Christians doing this every day. They give their kids wider and wider boundaries. What they are doing is taking them from the narrow path to the wide path. Their children start exposing themselves to entertainment and other influences that may jeopardize their purity. Before you know it, instead of following God, they are following the world.
As Christians, we need to protect the wellspring of life that is our heart and make good choices. I believe Christians should be out front. People should want to be like us. They should be following our way and wanting to make the choices we’re making because our fruit is awesome. We don’t look like the world. We love the world, but we don’t look like the world. We’re in the world but not of the world.
I will tell you right now, making the decision to stay on the narrow path no matter what is lonely at times. You are going to find that your friends on the narrow path are a wide range of ages, say seventy down to twelve. There are so few people that you have to change your perspective of what your friendship circle should look like so you can be close with people who you know are making these choices with you.
I would encourage you to connect, but when you feel lonely, encourage yourself in the Lord. Keep yourself encouraged like David in 1 Samuel 30. Don’t look to anyone else to encourage you. Enjoy their encouragement when it comes along but don’t rely on it. Don’t stand on it for strength. Stand on the Lord and His strength and remember what He has done for you already.


Desire Me, Please


I was only four years old. 

I cried myself to sleep so many times. Other times my mom would bust into my room and say, “You should be thankful he’s not here. He’s not a good man, and he certainly wouldn’t be a good dad.

My four-year-old mind couldn’t conceive what she was saying. Of course he would be a good daddy—because he was mine! Isn’t every girl supposed to have a daddy? My young mind was tormented with thoughts. I was in agony. I can still remember how deeply it hurt. I sat in my room alone in the late-night hours, crying out for my daddy.   



And so the father wound entered into my life. It was that wound that leaves girls needy and searching for love in all the wrong places. I became nuts searching for my missing piece: love. 

I actively sought love. I pursued passionate love, romantic love, and friendship. I searched high and low for a love that would make me feel valuable. I yearned for love. I simply wanted to be worthy of someones love.


You can only be rejected so many times before you start to believe you deserve it. At that time of my life, I felt alone and unlovable.

The world defines love as: profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend; a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.

I tried out this love many times, but it is not true love. This love is empty. It fails. Its not patient or kind because human beings are the ones dishing out this kind of love.


It wasn’t until I was twenty-four years old that I heard of agape. It was in the darkest and most lost time of my life, a time of utter brokenness. I was driving with a coworker when, in his efforts to console and counsel me, he explained to me the differences among three types of love: eros, philia, and agape.

I had been in and out of church for most of my nearly twenty-four years, yet I had never heard of agape. My coworker described agape as unconditional love. Unconditional means not subject to any conditions.
·      It is always there for you, no matter how bad or good you are.
·      You cannot mess it up!
·      You cannot do anything to lessen it or increase it; it is the same, steady love day in and day out.
·      This type of love does not keep track of all the things you do wrong.
·      It does not stifle you or imprison you.
·      It is the kind of love that fills you and frees you.
·      It changes you because its so radical!

How is this possible? How in the world did I grow up in church and never know this? What?!

I had spun out of control the previous fourteen years, deprived of love, when love was available all along. God is love:

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8 NIV)


Love is not a feeling; it’s a person! It’s Jesus Christ!


Read through 1 Corinthians 13 and make a list of “Love Is….” You will see that God defines His kind of love (agape) in this chapter.

My coworker guided me to this truth, and I found unconditional love. I did not fully comprehend the significance of this concept at the time, but I have since come to understand that I am completely loved. I felt rejected and worthless, but those feelings were not my true identity.

The truth is that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14 NIV). God Himself “created my inmost being,” and He “knit me together in my mothers womb” (Psalm 139:13 NIV). He set me apart before I was born as one who was and is and always will be loved—by Him.

We are the Church, and we need to wake up and stop constantly fixating on everyones flaws. We cannot afford to forget who God is and what He did out of His abundant love for every single one of us:

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NIV)


We did not and cannot deserve His sacrifice and love for us, yet they are ours to receive. How dare the church allow another child to endure a life of desperately searching for love because no one shared with him or her the blessing of Gods free gift!

Jesus Christ gave His disciples this command: 

Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34–35 NIV)


This is your commission, your calling, and your equipping! You are already ready!

The only logical reason we would not be sharing this almost-too-good-to-be-true love is because we have yet to fully comprehend it for ourselves. To know love compels you to share love!

Will you rise to the challenge and share agape with someone every day this year? In one year, 365 days, I challenge you to convey this message of unconditional love to the people God brings into your life.

Tell someone, “You are loved. It is part of your identity. It is etched into your being, and it can never be removed. It is in your very fingerprints—every indelible line testifies that you are loved.”

Will you accept this challenge?

Love,

Sheri Yates

Sisters, Who Do You Say That He Is?

Matthew 16:13–15 New International Version (NIV)

Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Everyone was talking about who people said Jesus was, but Jesus turned and asked His disciples, “Well, who do you say I am?” I think that is a really important question. When you are in the middle of a faith crisis, you cannot rely or stand firmly on who someone else says God is. You can only stand firmly on who you personally know Him to be. There are so many character qualities and facets of God that it is impossible for two people to be leaning on Him in the exact same way because it’s based on how intimately you know Him and what you are going through at the time.
Recently, when I was super discouraged, I started listening to old messages I had recorded. When you know something to be true or you have experienced God in a certain way, you should record yourself talking about it. To review what you have learned about His character and how He has been in your life and hear your own voice saying it is a very powerful tool. As I listened to recordings of my own voice speaking about my walk with God—how He has encouraged me, truth that I know and stand firmly in, miracles He has done on my behalf, the way He has moved in my life—I was seriously encouraged.
Some days, discouragement will come out of left field and punch your lights out. If you leave discouragement alone, it will eat your lunch. But if you take discouraging thoughts and imaginings captive, if you cast them down and put your foot on their neck and replace them with truth, then they will have no impact. We need to encourage ourselves daily. Don’t wait on someone else to encourage you.
Encourage yourself daily. How do you do that? Remember who God is to you. Amy says, “If you can trust God with your yesterdays, you can trust Him in your tomorrows.” What has God already done for you? Who has He been to you?

There is a song that Bethel Church wrote called “Good, Good Father.” As I was thinking about this song, I began to replace the lyrics and make my own version based on my personal walk with God:
You’re a good, good doctor.
It’s who You are.
And I’m healed by You.
It’s who I am.

You’re a good, good shepherd.
It’s who You are.
And I am safe in You.
It’s who I am. 


Now I want you to think about that song. Listen to it. Pray about it. Really ask yourself, “How am I experiencing God right now?” What if Jesus were to ask you face to face, “Who do you say that I am?” I want you to ask yourself that question and then fill out this song. Add your lyrics with this and share it with us.
When we share, we encourage others. There are some times when you need to fill up your tank because you can’t feed others on an empty tank. You have to have daily bread; you need fuel. Pour it in every day. It’s a great reminder. “As iron sharpens iron,” we can sharpen one another (Proverbs 27:17 NIV). As you share your song, it’s going to help another sister see God through your eyes, see Him in a new way, and trust Him more today than she did yesterday.
Don’t let technology or time get in your way. Just pause and listen to the song. Read the lyrics and then throw out your own. Who do you say that He is? 
If this has encouraged you in any way, share it to encourage someone else.

Addiction Prayer

You have to set your mind. Your mind has to be sitting firm in what you have decided to do. You need a plan. If you haven’t prepped your food, you are probably going to fail unless you have a place where you know you can eat safely. You have a plan in which you know what you are going to eat and when you are going to eat it.
I have been failing a lot this last week. I think it is because I don’t have the food prepared. In my mind, I think, “I’ll eat this or that. I can stuff something in at the last minute.” It doesn’t work. When you don’t have the food and you aren’t sure what you are going to eat, you allow room for the temptation to breed. My pastor today preached a great message. He said temptation is an invitation to trust and rely on God, not to fall into temptation.
I cannot tell you how many times I have fallen. I’ve truly convicted myself of that today. I knew it wasn’t right. I am not going to live under guilt and condemnation, but I am not going to be a slave to sugar anymore, either. I’m not going to be an addict to it. I have come to recognize that I went from one slavery to another. There is a middle ground, and I am going to find it. The Lord and I are going to find it.
I want to encourage you, when you are in bondage to something, it is important you have a plan. Prep your food to meet the plan. Know what you are going to eat and know where every meal is going to be. If you are going to give yourself some grace and some bites here and there, decide when they are going to be in advance instead of letting your taste buds and desires let you eat on impulse. This is what gets us in trouble—impulse eating and gluttony.
I want to encourage you not to be in slavery to anything. Good or bad—don’t be in slavery. You were bought at a price. You are a bought servant of Jesus Christ. That is the only true thing you should have. The one and only God should take the God role in your life, not anything else. Be careful. Tread on the water carefully. Make sure you can endure this race. God has to be in His rightful position. It cannot be the constant, everyday, continual placement of food first. Don’t let that be an excuse not to take care of your temple.
I want you to know where I am. I am in a struggling season right now, but I am an overcomer. My mind is strong in the Lord. I take my thoughts captive. It is right here. It’s not tomorrow. It’s today. I am finding my way through this every day, step by step, in Jesus’ name. I praise Him for that.
If you need me to pray for you to break free from any addiction, note it below and I would love to do so. Thank you.

Ropes Course

A few months after my mom died, I went on a ropes course retreat with our life group team. We went for team-building exercises. One of the exercises we did was to climb a tight wire between poles. On the first few poles, you could have help from a friend. The last rope was twenty feet between poles. We had to walk on this tight wire, and the only help you could have was a rope hanging down from one of the poles.
As I went out on that tight wire, I held the rope and had to walk backwards so I could put my weight onto the rope. I held on, and I leaned back. As I walked out, the closer I got to the middle, the more the rope just shook uncontrollably. I had to cling tighter to the rope than I thought imaginable. At that time, I was so focused on getting across the rope, I couldn’t hear anyone encouraging me. I could only hear faint noises in the background. I knew my team was on the sidelines, cheering me on, but they couldn’t lend me a hand. They couldn’t come give me support or walk alongside me. But they were there. They were on the sidelines. As I edged closer and closer to the end, there was a person who had just finished that exact course. They reached out their hand as far as they could, and I reached out mine. I let go of the rope with one hand, reached out, and I grabbed their hand. They helped me get to the end of the course safely.
As I looked back, I let go of the rope, and it swung to the other side to the person behind me who was next to do the challenge. After I finished, everyone was cheering. I could hear everyone. At that point, I could tell they had been with me all along.
John 6:33 says, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” As I reflected on that challenge, I realized every person is either coming out of a trial, in the middle of the shakiest part of the trial, or just getting ready to go through it. There was someone in the end who had just finished and was standing there, waiting with encouragement and an arm to help me out because they had already made it to the other side. Meanwhile, someone was behind me, getting ready to go on the exact same journey I had gone on.
Although I felt alone on the tightrope, all of these other people were on my side. They were ahead of me, behind me, and alongside me. They were so encouraging! But I was so consumed with what I was going through at the time that I couldn’t hear them. I couldn’t receive their help. I couldn’t receive their encouragements. That is the loneliest time when you are going through the trial—when there is no one on the tight wire with you, and all you have is this rope.
God is like the rope. He is with me. He is my support. I put all my weight on Him. As I walked across, I gave Him everything. I had no choice but to let Him bear the weight of my burden. By faith, I walked backwards. I took one step at a time with no sight. The end was not in view. I could not see it, but I just continued on until I reached back and held the hand of a friend who pulled me up to shore.
I want to encourage you that while you might be in the middle of a trial, or you might have just finished going through one, or you might be about to go through one, we have all been there. We are all in times of hardship in some way or another. We’ve been there, we’ve been through it, and we’re getting ready to go through it again. There are people cheering for you.
At that middle point where it is the shakiest, when your knees are shaking and you can’t hear anyone encouraging you, I want you to know there are people there. They are present. You just can’t feel it. You can’t know it. What the enemy wants to do more than anything is to make you feel other people are not there, that they are not encouraging you. The enemy wants you to begin relying on that feeling of loneliness rather than knowing you are loved and supported by so many who are cheering. They are praying for you. They are giving you the greatest gift, which is the power of God through prayer. They are supporting you. They are holding up your arms like Aaron and Hur did when Moses held up his arms for the Israelites to win the battle.
I want you to know you can take heart in the overcoming power of Jesus Christ, and as you hold on to Him and you step by faith and keep moving forward, there is a way out.

Proverbs 31 Woman—No Problem!

Proverbs 31 has always been something I would read and think, Right. I won’t be sewing my own clothes. I can never meet this standard for a woman.
Until recently … No, I didn’t become superwoman!
I realized that I had always compared myself to the Proverbs 31 woman, seeing myself as one who could never measure up.
But today I looked at Proverbs 31 in a new way. I viewed it as if I were the Proverbs 31 woman. I rewrote it in my own voice as if I were these things already.
I started speaking to my future self. Even where I don’t measure up to this standard, it is where I am going! Ladies, we may never arrive at perfect performance. What’s important is that we start. Start what? Sewing? No! We simply need to see ourselves through the eyes of who God has made us to be.
We need to speak to our future!
Experts suggest that you will get whatever behavior you expect from your child. Isn’t the same true for us? Low expectations breed low performance.
Scripture says that we will eat the fruit of our lips. What are your lips speaking about you, your family, and your future? Are they filled with life and truth or death and lies?
You try it! Here is what I did:
  1. My husband and sons-in-law love Jesus and do not give their strength to loose women. My daughters and I do not give our hearts or bodies to loose men—only to our husbands. (Proverbs 31:2-3)
  2. Our family is called to influence. Therefore, we will not drink so that our judgment is not impaired. (Proverbs 31:4-7)
  3. I will care for the underdogs. I will teach them to fish, not just feed them. (Proverbs 31:8-9)
  4. I am a capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman. I am more precious than rubies and pearls. (Proverbs 31:10)
  5. My husband confidently trusts, relies on, and believes in me. I have no lack. I comfort and encourage him. I do him only good until I pass from this earth. (Proverbs 31:11-12)
  6. I work hard. I am not lazy when it comes to caring for my family. I prepare their meals. (Proverbs 31:13-14)
  7. I rise early. First thing, I bring my family spiritual nourishment. I assign tasks to each member of my family and each worker. (Proverbs 31:15)
  8. I am a good steward of what God has given me. I have the mind of Christ and wisdom from the Lord, and I use it in every business and financial decision. I don’t ignore my most important responsibilities. (Proverbs 31:16)
  9. I encourage myself in the Lord and in truth so I can be spiritually minded rather than carnally minded. I am physically fit. My arms are strong and firm so that I have the life to carry out what God has called me to do. (Proverbs 31:17)
  10. The work of God in me I acknowledge and remember when hard times press around me. God’s light continues to shine in trials of all kinds. (Proverbs 31:18)
  11. I work hard. I feed others who are poor in spirit. (Proverbs 31:19-20)
  12. I have skills that benefit my family (like sewing, designing, etc.). God will equip me with whatever skills I need. I dress like an ambassador of Jesus Christ. (Proverbs 31:21-22)
  13. My husband is known at the city gates. He consults with the elders of all the lands— pastors, teachers, and business leaders. (Proverbs 31:23)
  14. I write Bible studies, books, and skits and make videos, games, and fun things to help Christ followers know who they are in Christ. I build up leaders in my own and future generations to lead in their own circles. (Proverbs 31:24)
  15. Strength and dignity are my clothing. My position is strong and secure. I rejoice over the future. My family is ready for it! (Proverbs 31:25)
  16. My mouth is filled with godly wisdom, and my tongue is kind. I give counsel and instruction. (Proverbs 31:26)
  17. I refuse to be idle! I am not discontent. I don’t pity myself. I refuse to gossip. I look well to how things go in my home. (Proverbs 31:27)
  18. My children will call me blessed. My daughters’ hearts toward me are always pure.
  19. My husband boasts about and praises me. He thinks I am the cream of the crop. (Proverbs 31:28-29)
  20. I fear the Lord. I worship the Lord. I am in awe of You, Lord! (Proverbs 31:30)
  21. I will reap what I sow. My works will show the fruit of the Spirit. (Proverbs 31:31)
We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and just enjoy the fact that God is moving in us!

Love you, 
Sheri




Are You Immature?

If the only way you are pulled out of a bad mood is when other people say nice things about you and pour on loads of encouragement and praise, then you are not mature in Christ. The truth is that those who are leaders, those who are mature in Christ, can pull themselves out of the pit. The world will come against them and knock them down, but it won’t matter if no one has anything nice to say because they stand in the promises of God. 

They focus on who God is and remember what He has done. They find something to be thankful for and pull themselves out of their discouragement because God is worthy and He is good. That is how you go from being an infant in the faith, on a spiritual diet of soft food, to a leader who is on real meat—someone who is stable and has longevity and loyalty.

Those people can pull themselves out of the pit because they turn to the Lord for strength and renewal. Look at 1 Samuel, chapter 30. When David and his men returned to where they had been living, they found everything burned and their wives and children gone. They were beside themselves with grief. On top of that, David’s men started to turn against him. They were talking about killing him! 

David could have given into despair, but instead he “found strength in the LORDhis God” (1 Samuel 30:6 NIV). With God’s guidance and help, David and his men defeated the Amalekite raiding party, recovering their wives and children and all of the plunder.

David could have given up. He could have run away. He could have let himself be killed. But he was a leader. He didn’t wait for his friends to pat him on the back and feed him ice cream and tell him that everything would be okay. David’s friends were in bad shape, too—bad enough that they wanted to kill him, right?

David took the leadership position. He turned to the Lord and took action under His guidance. If he hadn’t done that, if he had given up, all of those wives and children would have been lost. God rescued all of those people and restored to David and his men what their enemies had taken, all because David turned to the Lord and refused to throw in the towel!

We need to learn to encourage ourselves in the Lord and not always rely on other people to speak the truth to us. We need to be proactive about it. We need to seek knowledge of the Lord, that we may grow in our understanding of who He is. We need to remember and speak of the things God has already done and be mindful of the work He is doing in our lives now. Remember His blessings!

This God-centered mindset helps us not only to encourage ourselves but also to build up others. We start to see other people as God sees them and not through our own worldly, critical eyes. When we are encouraged in the Lord, we are more likely to speak in an encouraging voice. We are more likely to be generous. We are more likely to forgive and forget. We don’t keep a record of wrongs. We don’t fixate on other people’s flaws. When we are encouraged in the Lord, we are better equipped to love as God wants us to love and to run with humble confidence the course He sets for each of us.

Are You Immature?

If the only way you’re pulled out of a bad mood is from other people saying nice things about you and pouring in loads of encouragement and praise, then you are not mature in Christ. The truth is that leaders and the ones who are mature in Christ can pull themselves out of the pit. The world will come against them and they can be knocked down, and it doesn’t matter if no one has anything nice to say. They stand in the promises of God. They stand there, and they go back and remember what God has done. They find something to be thankful for, and they pull themselves out because God is worthy and He is good.

That is how you go from being an infant in the faith to someone who’s on meat and a leader, someone who is stable and has longevity and loyalty. Those people can pull themselves out of the pit. They can turn around an entire army like David did in 1 Samuel 30. He turned around an entire army that was against him. They went with him to take back what was taken from those men.   

We need to learn to encourage ourselves in the Lord. Before anyone even has the chance to speak any truth into us, we should be encouraging ourselves in the Lord and speaking of those things that God has already done and remembering who He is. We should be seeing others through His eyes and not through our critical spirits and critical eyes. We should be seeing others as God sees them, and that should have us always returning everything in a positive light and encouraging voice. There should always be forgiveness from those who encourage others and themselves in the Lord. They should always be forgiving and forgetting, not remembering and keeping a record of wrongs, because they are just so encouraged and built up.