This blog is the ninth in a series on relationship rescue. We’re looking for the most powerful New Testament principles for healthy relationships. Pastor Tim’s Top Ten:
According to John Maxwell, “Man does not live by bread alone. Sometimes he needs a little buttering up.” We’re not talking about flattery here. We’re talking about encouragement. Everybody needs it- including your friends and loved ones.
#8: Thou shalt catch others in the act of doing something good. (And tell them!)
Encouragement is so rare that almost no one gets enough. Not long ago, a rugged male friend of mine lost a lot of weight. It not only changed his appearance, but it changed the way he felt and acted. He was even more energetic, more positive. The first time I mentioned how great he looked, his face broke into a big smile. “I’ve lost 20 pounds,” he commented. “You’re the first person who’s noticed!”
My friend has always been healthy, successful and athletic. I’m guessing nobody bothered to comment because they figured he’s so together that he doesn’t need a good word. In fact, everybody needs encouragement and we need it a lot. It’s so important that God’s Word reminds us to be intentional.
Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
In our self-centered, therapeutic culture, many of us have assumed that the mark of true friendship is someone’s willingness to listen to all my sorrows, anxieties and frustrations. Maybe, but most people aren’t really looking for a friend because they enjoy depressing conversations. Most people want friends because the people we love can add value to our lives. They hang with us. They laugh with us. They understand us. And if I’m one of those really lucky individuals, they notice when I do things right, and let me know.
Want to build more positive friendships? Practice this simple trick for two weeks and you’ll be amazed at the results. Be intentional about listening. Hone in on some things your friends are doing right. Or take note of some strengths and personal talents. Then be deliberate in telling the people you love some of the reasons why you love them. Encourage them to keep on doing the things they do so well. You’ll become a more attractive person, and you’ll be handing out a prescription everybody needs.
Lift up the Cross!