Thursday, August 4, 2016
Women of Encouragement
The other day I saw that a fitness coach that I have been following for over a year on Instagram and Facebook had posted a video on Facebook about women and encouragement. You can see Amanda’s video here. The short story is that people have been making ugly comments to her social media posts. It got me thinking about this verse…
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:29
And these verses…
“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
To be honest with you, when I started following some of the women that are now my fitness heroes I had thoughts like:
“Wow! They sure are brave to post a video of their workout on social media!” or “Wow! Look at them posting their before and after pictures! I’m not that brave or confident in myself. What if someone makes fun of me?”
I kept following their journey. Their journey gave me the motivation and encouragement to get my butt off the couch and do something about my health. I consider myself a pretty outgoing person, but I had to really get out of my comfort zone when I started posting my workouts on social media or sharing my journey with my posts, blog, etc. That was a HUGE step for me! It has been worth it though.
Fortunately, most of my followers are people that I actually know. I haven’t really had the reach through social media that other people have. I’m not a celebrity. I haven’t had to worry too much about negative comments on social media. You can be sure that I have read other peoples comments though. It seems that as social media has grown, the ability to hide behind our electronic devices has grown too. It’s given us a boldness and a sense that we can say whatever we want no matter how ugly. I have seen that people feel like it’s okay to say whatever they want even if they have never met that person or have a personal relationship with that person.
Over the past few months we have seen so much ugly in our world. Why would you want to add to it or be a part of that? Be a woman of encouragement. Be an influencer for good. Many times when people make their ugly (and very hurtful) comments or posts on social media it’s because you yourself are struggling with insecurities. That mom of ___ of kids is getting her butt off the couch and doing something good for her and her kids. I’ve had a friend that has made a passing comment to me saying “hashtag fitmom” in our conversations. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I use that hashtag and a few others whenever I post my fitness pictures. I know this friend’s heart and I know that she loves me and I’m sure that she isn’t trying to be mean, but I am doing something positive for me and my girls. Our words can cut deeper than we realize (or maybe some of us do).
“In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickeness, corrupting your entire body. It can set you whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.”
I will tell you this. Since I am now 44 years old (crazy, huh?), I don’t care anymore what people think. You can laugh or make fun of me all you want to my face or behind my back for all of my fitness posts or videos of my workouts. In fact, get ready for this…I am about to try my hand at vlogging this fall with all of my upcoming races. That’s right folks! You’ll be seeing a lot more of this hot mess on social media! I have one thing to say (okay I’ve said way more than that). If all of my posts on social media will inspire or encourage just one person to get up and moving, then it has been worth it and I’ll keep doing it. I’ve had several old students, parents, old and current friends that have messaged me or told me in person how my journey has inspired them to change. I hadn’t posted as many workout videos lately and one morning one of the sweet ladies in my Facebook group asked where my posts were. She had missed them and said that they were so inspiring. I think they are a hot mess, but if it helps you, I’ll keep doing it.
Friends, we need to encourage each other. Don’t be the hatred that is a part of this world. Here are a few things to think of before you comment on social media:
1. Is this the type of character that you want your daughters, nieces, students, etc., to have when they grow up? Little eyes see all.
2. Would you want others to treat your children like that? Don’t be the bully.
3. Do you have a personal relationship with this person? Do you have the right to speak into their lives?
4. If you want others to be kind to you, start first by being kind and encouraging to others.
5. Remember the Golden Rule? “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” This goes along with number #3, but if you don’t want to see ugly, hurtful comments on your social media then don’t do it to others.
6. When you are ugly on social media, not only does the person whom you commented on see that post, but so do maybe hundreds of others. Is that really the kind of character that you want to be known for?
7. Is the reason that you are wanting to make a hurtful comment because you are struggling with your own insecurities?
8. The next time you see a woman post or blog about her fitness make it a point to encourage her. Congratulate her for getting off the couch and making a difference.
9. Be kind and loving!!!
These are just some of my thoughts. You have the power to make a difference in this world. Why not use that power for good? Be someone’s hero!