Any of us involved in pregnancy help organizations know that the Planned Parenthoods, the abortion centers, those who try to over-regulate us and even those who vehemently oppose us are not our enemy.
Our enemy is the enemy, with whom we must wage spiritual warfare on a daily basis. Those individuals and organizations attempting to thwart us are in fact, minimal nuisances when compared to the true enemy we face.
Fighting this ultimate enemy begins with understanding one of his most effective tools; because once we know of his best weapons, we are better prepared to engage this enemy and win. If we are to achieve victory then, we must recognize the weapon he uses most: Discouragement.
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Corporately, the enemy seeks to discourage us by reminding us of how giant Planned Parenthood is, or of how much money flows to those who oppose us. The media tells us—constantly—that our love for those we see is only an agenda, a self-seeking desire to control or manipulate our patients and clients. We know better, but the enemy consistently attacks, rarely letting up.
Individually, the enemy tells us we are failing in our mission; trying to convince us that:
Our pregnancy resource center is too small, not meeting the needs of our clientele
Our pregnancy help medical clinic is not reaching those most vulnerable to abortion
Our maternity home or adoption agency has too few calling us for assistance
Finances are low
While we can always improve, and must seek to do so, the enemy is not interested in our improvement. He does not want us to look for better avenues of connection or more effective ways to serve those we see. No, the enemy wants us to grow discouraged, and ultimately—whether in our hearts or literally—to quit. He wants us to give up and walk away from the spiritual battlefield.
And perhaps the biggest discouragement we face as individuals? The lie that says, You are not changing lives.
The enemy will try to shift our regular thoughts toward that client who returns again and again with no intention of changing his or her lifestyle. Or focus our attention on that young woman who walked away and drove to an abortion center.
Because so few clients return to say “thank you” (if we want a biblical example, Jesus healed 10 lepers and only one said, “thank you”), it is easy for us to zero in on those who say nothing, instead of on those who still remember us with tears of joy and words of appreciation.
While we know that discouragement can slow us down, and even paralyze us from moving forward in our mission, there is no three- or five-step plan to suddenly “fix” discouragement.
What we can do however, is recognize the source of discouragement. Discouragement does not—ever—come from God. As the pregnancy help community, we need to keep this in mind.
Tweet This: “Discouragement does not—ever—come from God.” @KirkWalden
In addition, it is a part of our mission to remind ourselves of at least three things:
1. We are doing God’s will.
We must always seek to be more effective in our work, without question. But at the same time, it is important to note that regardless of outcomes, we are seeking to see His will be done. His will includes the choice of life, every time. We are in the center of His will, and this is always the perfect place to be.
2. We need to think long term.
Just as it is not our responsibility to cast ultimate judgment on another, it is also not our job to look at today’s result with a client or patient and assume this is the end of the story. Discouragement focuses on a negative “present.” Faith focuses on God’s continued work not only today, but in the future.
3. We are winning.
It is important in our work to consider large demographics, trends in our outcomes and statistical data relating to our work. What we find when we consider these elements is, we are winning.
Yet, if in that process we forget the power of reaching just one, we’ve missed our mission.
When we reach one, we win. When we reach a second person, we win again.
When one person—just one—changes his or her thinking regarding life, in personal relationships or toward God, a culture is changed. We can get caught up in the hundreds, the thousands and the millions.
Jesus focused on 12 and changed the world forever.
Discouragement focuses in on those hundreds and thousands “missed.” We must focus on the one—and the many “ones”—we’ve reached.
Discouragement happens in our work, because it is a weapon used against us.
As we move forward, the pregnancy help community must recognize the potentially powerful weapon of discouragement; then push it aside and advance. When we do, we will be more agile, more united and more effective in our mission.
How are you doing in your battle against discouragement? Let us know in the comments or send us a note here.