Be An Encourager…Make More Positive Comments
Lately we’ve been discussing some of the downside of communication with others. Negative communication is often inevitable so we talked about how to avoid making negative comments and how to respond to critical and sometimes hurtful communication when we are on the receiving end. On the flip side though, not only is it important to avoid making damaging comments, but it’s valuable to go the extra mile to make positive comments and to point out the good in situations.
I recently completed a six-part series of devotions on my YouVersion bible app that was based on the Stay Positive series by Pastor Craig Groeschel, the Senior Pastor at Life Church. Something that Pastor Groeschel said really stood out to me (which was an indicator that it was something that I need to work on). He said if you think something good, you should say it and that you should never rob somebody else from a blessing. He said we should be a tool of God to be a voice of encouragement to other people on a daily basis. His advice was that anytime we think something good about somebody else we should turn it into a gift of encouragement.
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)
In fact, God himself is an encourager. We need to be like God and be encouragers too! When we encourage others, we are showing and being a little part of God to somebody else…somebody who may really need it.
“But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.” 2 Corinthians 7:6 (NLT)
I often think good things about other people, but I’m not always the best at vocalizing with positive comments. So after Pastor Groeschel’s advice, I’ve been trying to do better about immediately saying, calling or texting whoever it is that I may have had a positive thought about. If I see something my sister has done that is super creative, I should try to remember to call her and tell her and not just think it. If I’m grateful for something Eric has done, even something small, I should send him a text at work just to say “thanks, I appreciated when you…” If one of my kids did something to make me laugh or smile, I should stop right then and tell them that they make me happy. They are all simple little things that I typically just think and pass over every day, but when I do so I am essentially robbing them from a blessing.
Oh, how it’s so easy to do the opposite. We are ready to file a complaint in a heartbeat if we receive bad service or a faulty product. How often though do we take the time to let someone know when they’ve done something right? What would happen if we all spent the same amount of time (or more) offering positive comments and praising and encouraging people as we do complaining? I believe the more we can focus on the positive and on encouraging others, the happier we will be, and the less the negativity will take over.
I want to start doing better about making positive comments, pointing out the good, and encouraging others. When I’ve done this in the past, not only does this bless the other person, but I feel the benefit as well. It feels good to know that you’ve made somebody else happy. In fact, Jesus even said that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. So let’s start giving more praise and encouragement!
“In everything I have pointed out to you [by example] that, by working diligently in this manner, we ought to assist the weak, being mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, It is more blessed (makes one happier and more to be envied) to give than to receive.” Acts 20:25 (AMP)
I do have one example where I took advantage of an opportunity NOT to complain and to send some praise and encouragement. I use MailChimp to send out my weekly blog posts to my subscribers. Last year I was having some trouble getting a post to send for some reason. I was a little irritated because I thought I was setting everything up the way I was supposed to. I sent an inquiry e-mail to the customer support department and asked for help. I’m soooo glad I didn’t take a nasty tone and complain because I later found out it was all my own fault (due to my post scheduling time and time zone issues). I also could have been a bad example as Christian if I had been nasty and complained in this situation. Who knows…because I handled things the right way (even though it wasn’t my first instinct), I may have even been a positive reflection of Jesus…maybe a seed planted in somebody’s life.
An awesome girl at MailChimp by the name of Lexie sent me the most respectful, kind and helpful reply. She went above and beyond to help me and tell me exactly what I needed to do to fix the problem. I sent her a nice message back accepting full responsibility for the errors. I told her how awesome and helpful she was and that I appreciated her. I then sent a separate e-mail to let her supervisors know how wonderful she was and how she helped me solve the problems. Lexie later sent me another e-mail telling me that I made her day—she even called me a rockstar! 😉 She told me to “be on the lookout for some awesomeness in the mail”.
A few days later I received a sweet postcard from her with a cute joke and a note to let me know that they were pumped about me loving MailChimp and their support team. She also told me to keep an eye out for a package. Then…later that week, I received a package with the cutest little knit beanie/hat that looked like a chimp! All that just for me offering some positive comments and telling someone that they did a great job and that I appreciated them. It almost turned into an encouragement war! 🙂
Take Some Practical Steps to Start Making More Positive Comments:
- Don’t just stop complaining or making negative comments; start praising and encouraging and offer positive comments! Try to be a daily encourager to people.
- Anytime you think something good, say it and don’t rob somebody else from the blessing of your positive comments. Stop just thinking positive things and start vocalizing them. Say it. Call someone. Send a text. Write a card/note/letter/e-mail. Be an encourager to others like God is.
- Anytime somebody does something well, tell them so and let other people know too. Brag on them to others—their coworkers or boss, their family, other people who might cross their path, etc.
- Start an encouragement war if you have too! Try to outdo others with your positive comments, praise and encouragement and see if it doesn’t just make everyone happier!
How can you be an encourager and start making more positive comments? Leave a comment below (click on the post link to join the conversation if you’re viewing through e-mail) or take the conversation to your favorite social media channel (sharing links below).
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If you have benefited from this post or if you know anyone that could benefit from this, please pay it forward and share this post with them via the sharing links below! “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 1 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)