Find The Good & Applaud

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24

A man was writing at a post office desk and was approached by an older fellow with a post card in his hand.  The older man said, “Sir, could you please address this post card for me?”  The man gladly did so, agreeing also to write a short message and sign the card for the man.  Finally the younger man asked, “Now, is there anything else I can do for you?”  The older fellow thought about it for a moment and said, “Yes, at the end could you just put, ‘P.S. Please excuse the sloppy handwriting.'”

How often is it that we complain against those who do the most for us?  One of Zig Zigler’s famous quotes is, “Find the good and applaud.”  We would do good to remember that as we converse with family, friends, and co-workers throughout the week.  Too often we catch ourselves looking for the negative instead of affirming the positive.  In I Thessalonians 5:12-24 Paul is writing to the church in Thessalonica and is ending his letter by encouraging them to encourage each other.  He says things like, “Live at peace with each other, don’t pay back wrong for wrong, be kind to each other, give thanks in all circumstances.”  In other words, don’t complain, but find something good to celebrate and give thanks for.  Find words of encouragement to speak into someone’s life.

In the Handbook of Short Story Writing author Muriel Anderson says that four of the most important words in her life are “Of course you can.”  She said, “I was fortunate to have a father who was good at saying of course you can at just the right moments.”  She goes on tell about one time when she was in high school and her family had moved to a city from a small town.  She had loved that small town and wrote an article about it and her time growing up there.  She wanted more than anything to have her article published in the small-town weekly paper.  She didn’t expect to be successful, though, because the paper was a weekly with a tight budget and published very little free-lance material.  “I don’t think I can get it published,” she said to her father.  Her dad responded with his usual encouragement and said, “Of course you can!”  She did and it launched her career as a very successful writer.  Our words can often make a huge difference!

Make It Personal: In a world that is often negative we would do well to be positive and encouraging.  In 1 Thessalonians 5 Paul says, “Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  Sounds like a tall order, but it is an order that can be filled when we are living in Christ and relying on his strength and encouragement to shine through us.  Blessings to you as you find the good and applaud! 

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes