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DISCOURAGEMENT

Illegal To Be Discourager

 Do you know that a man was once court-martialed and sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for being a discourager? It happened during the Boer War at the siege of Ladysmith. The fortunes of the town and garrison were hanging in the balance. This civilian would go along the lines and speak discouraging words to the men on duty. He struck no blow for the enemy, not one. He was just a discourager, and that at a critical time. The court-martial judged it a crime to speak disheartening words in an hour like that.

—J. A. Clark

Devil’s Best Tool

 The devil, according to legend, once advertised his tools for sale at public auction. When the prospective buyers assembled, there was one oddly-shaped tool which was labeled “Not for sale.” Asked to explain why this was, the devil answered, “I can spare my other tools, but I cannot spare this one. It is the most useful implement that I have. It is called Discouragement, and with it I can work my way into hearts otherwise inaccessible. When I get this tool into a man’s heart, the way is open to plant anything there I may desire.”

One (Last) Try Did It

 A discouraged minister once dreamed that he was standing on the top of a great granite rock, trying to break it with a pickaxe. Hour after hour he worked on with no result. At last he said; “It is useless; I will stop.”

 Suddenly a man stood by him and asked, “Were you not allotted this task? and if so, why are you going to abandon it?”

 “My work is in vain; I can make no impression on the granite,” was the minister’s reply.

 Then the stranger solemnly replied, “That is nothing to you; your duty is to pick, whether the rock yields or no. The work is yours, the results are in other hands; work on.”

 In his dream the minister saw himself setting out anew his labor, and at his first blow the rock flew into hundreds of pieces.

Lincoln’s Depression

 Many years ago a young midwestern lawyer suffered such deep depression that his friends thought it wise to keep all knives and razors from him. During this time he wrote, “I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I awfully forebode I shall not.” He was wrong. He did recover and went up to become one of America’s most-loved presidents, Abraham Lincoln.

—C. R. Hembree

Discouraged Horses

 I saw a span of horses drawing a very heavy load of logs, and as they came to a hard place they struggled and tried with all their force, strained every muscle to the highest tension, but they could not start the load. Then the driver took some of the logs off and tried to get them to start the load, but they would not. He rolled off some more, but those horses would not start. He rolled off still more, and at last took off every log, and then they started up the road.

 Those horses had been utterly discouraged; they had pulled with all their strength and failed, and any one doing that, be it man or beast, is not able to accomplish half as much as a man who has not lost heart.

—Current Anecdotes

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