Leader's Insight: Put on an Unhappy Face

There are lessons in lingering in your discouragement.

From my journal: This morning a man I like very much informed me that he and his wife were going to leave our church for another one. His wife, he said, didn't feel accepted by our people and she'd found better in another congregation. So, he told me, they would soon be gone.

When the conversation ended and we'd parted ways, I felt a cloud of discouragement engulf me. A thick cloud, as a matter of fact. I felt badly for our church; I even felt badly for myself because I had really thought we (and I) had served him and his wife well. But I was mistaken. Thus the discouragement. Usually, I can shake such moments off, but this morning I decided to let the sensation of discouragement linger and feel it for a while.

I hope it doesn't sound arrogant to say that it's been a long time since I have felt deeply discouraged. That's not because everything has always gone right for me but because I have learned over the years how to manage life's low moments. I know how to set dark experiences in a larger, ...

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