First, the Positives…

And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.                                             Philippians 4:8 (Living Bible)

I was talking recently with a client about our tendency to look for the flaws in a situation rather than first looking for the positives in it. It becomes a habit for us to look for what is wrong in a situation versus what is right in a situation. My client stated that the first thing her husband notices when he gets home is the things she might have missed, or failed to do during the day. Their first interaction upon his arrival home is tainted with a negative flavor. This colors the rest of the evening.

When a Broadway critic reviews a play, they often look first for flaws in acting, writing, musical score, etc. Perhaps they feel that it makes them look smarter to find mistakes, errors and problems rather than to first appreciate the positives of the performance.

In social media, people often look first for mistakes in facts, or judgment problems in the content of the posts. Again, to disagree and point out flaws seems to make the critic look smart or savvy- or maybe they just want to make a statement and stand out from the crowd.

I think we should view statements with an eye toward facts, and we should give honest feedback. Yet, in relationships, we know that finding the positive aspects of our partner or friend, and lifting that up, goes a long way in making strong bonds.   

Whenever possible, as Paul says, “Whatever things are good… think on those things”

Prayer: Lord, give us the insight and discipline to first look for what we can praise before we look to criticize, Amen

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