Finding the Positive in People
It is way too easy to focus on the negatives, on how that person drives you nuts, on how they don't contribute, or on how they question everything. Why don't they do it like you do it? Why doesn't she do it like you do it? Why doesn't he respond the way you want him to respond? Why won't he do this? Why won't she do that? Instead of focusing on the negatives in people's life, focus on the positives.
You and I have a choice every day. Am I going to focus on the negatives in someone's life, or am I going to focus on the positives in someone's life? It makes a world of a difference when you choose to focus on the positives. (I know it's a lot of work.)
I was thinking about the story of Thomas in the New Testament. We call him doubting Thomas. Why? Because he said, "I'm not going to believe that Jesus was resurrected unless I can touch his hands, unless I can see the nail-pierced hands, unless I can feel his side." Thomas gets a bad rap. Doubting Thomas had to see to believe. We focus on the negative in Thomas's life.
But you know what? Thomas went on to say, a few verses later, some of the most powerful words about Jesus. He said, "You are my Lord and my God. You are my Lord and my God." Some powerful, powerful words.
Now, for instance, I want you to think about the volunteers in your ministry. I want you to think about your employees at work, your coworkers, your boss. I want you to think about your close friends. I want you to think about your fellow students. I want you to think about the children or the teenagers that sit in your classroom every day. I want you to think about your boss. I want you to think about the people God has placed in your life.
Do you focus on the negatives? "Oh, that's doubting Thomas." Or do you focus on the positives? "You know what, he or she said this." Every person is wired different. I have found that a lot of times when I focus on the negatives in someone's life, what I'm really doing is focusing on how they aren't like me. How I wouldn't do it that way, I wouldn't respond that way, or I wouldn't say that.
Here's the beautiful thing about people: that is that God has wired us each differently. It takes everybody to make a team. If everybody acted the way you did, guess what? We'd be in trouble. If everybody responded to problems the way you did, guess what? We'd be in trouble.
We all collectively make up the body of Christ. We all collectively make each other stronger. Here's the frog I want you to eat today. I talk to you a lot about eating the frog first. Mark Twain said, "If you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, that nothing worse can happen to you the rest of the day." Sometimes you have to do the difficult things and when you do those difficult things, everything else gets better.
So here's the difficult thing I want you to do today. I want you to think about that person that you would naturally have negative thoughts about. Somebody that maybe you naturally don't like, you don't enjoy being around, or you don't enjoy working with. It's easy for you to see their faults and their problems. What I want you to do is, I want you to think about something positive in their life.
You know, maybe that person drives you nuts in your church, like maybe a volunteer, but they're there every Sunday. Maybe your coworker seems as though they are very, very critical, but yet think about the positives. They are committed to doing things right. Think about your boss. Maybe your boss doesn't say thank you very much, yet you got a raise last year.
Think about the positive in people's life. It will be a game changer for you and for all of those around you.
Your #1 fan,