Tip of the Week

Be The Person Who Catches Others Doing the Right Thing.

It is so easy to get into a fault finding habit.  Have you been there?  It is easy to begin looking for the negative in other people.  Before long, you develop a critical spirit.  You may constantly critique others and focus on where they do not measure up.

Consider another way of living.

Look for what is good, what is true, and what is right in other people.  Keep your eyes peeled for acts of kindness or mercy.  Notice those whose intentions are good and honorable.  This is important for a parent, for a married person, and for anyone who works with other people.  Imagine the impact of regularly pointing out to others what you notice.

  • To the cashier at the store where you have been waiting in the checkout line:  "Wow, did you ever handle that last customer well!  I can’t believe the way he talked to you and yet you kept your cool.  That is incredible!"
  • To your son who just shared a story he learned in a class at school:  "I had no idea!  What an interesting story.  You must listen very well.  I’m impressed that you remember all of those details from class this morning."
  • To your daughter who showed concern for a friend whose feelings have been hurt by some other kids: "I am impressed that you have such compassion for her.  She is not one of your closest friends and yet you are so concerned."
  • To your Bible class teacher: "Wow, you handle some of these questions in class so well.  You have a way of putting people at ease."
  • To your spouse: "I think you handled that situation with the kids very well.  That was not easy."
  • To your friend: "You have such a way of getting to the essence of a problem.  How helpful!"

What I am talking about is a mindset.  It is a way of looking at people and life.  Just for today, look for what is good, right, and true in the people you are with.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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12 thoughts on “Tip of the Week

  1. Great post Jim!  Man, do we ever get caught up in this one!!  It’s so easy to criticize instead of compliment.  Yet a compliment that is sincere from the heart makes us feel so much better.  Both the giver and the receiver are given a blessing.

  2. I really wish you could have said this better. I think you should change your approach next time. Your examples weren’t as helpful as they could be.


    Just funning with you here. I am learning that the approach you describe pours grace like oil into relationships. One place where I’ve seen these gracious words create change right before my eyes is in my mentoring relationships. Though I sometimes have to ask hard, challenging questions to those I mentor, it is in consistently, regularly celebrating the good choices I see these young adults make that seems to ignite change in their lives. Great post!

  3. Thank you for this reminder, Jim. Unfortunately, being critical comes far too easy for me and when I think about it as a life long "thing" I will struggle with, it is overwhelming. However, when I think about it in terms of just today- I think I can do that. Just today, I will NOT be critical. And, hopefully, tomorrow I will wake up and say the same thing.

  4. Simple and genuine gratitude is an amazing thing. Indulge me a story: I first coached soccer when my son was about 6 (~15 yrs ago). At the end of the season, most of the kids and parents circled around and simply said "Thank You" or "Good Job." It sounds corny, but this simple act put me awash in a warmth and glow that can only be described as the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know it then (I didn’t find God for another 5 years) but looking back I am absolutely certain that’s what it was.A great post Jim. It reinforced for me the approach I have taken for the last 15 years or so. I still carry that Spirit with me, and I can pass it on by simply saying "Thanks, great job!"Shalom.

  5. Hi Erin,I think many people can identify with you.  Sounds like a good approach to take this one day at a time.How wonderful that you are aware of this, that you are not blind to this, and now you wish to address it.