We had a weekend missionary conference at our church with two missionaries a couple of weeks ago.
One of the missionaries was a friend we have known a long time. In fact, he was my principal when I was in grade school. After he left, my husband said,
“That man is the most affirming man I have ever known. He is so positive! I want to be more like him.”
This man is a lot of fun. He can make anyone laugh. That has always been his personality. But he also validates others. He listens when people talk and then often he’ll agree with them by repeating part of what they said and including phrases such as, “You’re right!” or “I agree!” or “I think you are right on.” or “That is true.”
If he might not totally agree, he would use phrases such as, “I could see why someone would think or say that, but I also think this could be true . . .” In this kind of conversation, he was still being encouraging and affirming yet making the other person think.
He wasn’t wishy-washy, and he could take a stand for right. He didn’t compromise to make people feel good. Yet every time he could, he would build up the people around him. You felt good just talking to him and being around him as he was positive. You couldn’t have a negative attitude in his presence. He saw the goodness of God and everyone around him saw it too.
The next week I was with someone else who was probably having a bad day. We all do. But the critical spirit had the opposite affect of my friend’s positive spirit. A friend of mine put a quote her pastor had said on Facebook. Here is the quote:
“Do you know what ten compliments plus one criticism equals? One criticism.”
I want to make sure my kids don’t hear me only being critical. I want them to remember me as a positive person. I want to influence people like my missionary friend does. I want people to want to be around me because they feel uplifted just by being around me. I want them to know that being a Christian is a wonderful thing to be. We should be the most joyful, happy people on the earth!
How do people see you? Are you a positive person?
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