By Gary Miller
One of the hardest things to do, it seems like, is find the good in situations. Sometimes as a hunter or a fisherman we tend to measure our day according to whether or not we have brought home something for the wall or the table. Without these trophies, sometimes we bemoan the day, cast blame, and easily find the negative. After all, it is pretty easy to in the world we live in to find all that’s wrong with it. It must be the case in the outdoor world as well.
A friend of mine recently complimented one of my articles. He referred to it as being very positive. Those may not have been his exact words but that was what I grasp hold of. By default however, he was also saying that perhaps my other articles were not as encouraging. Again, that may not be what he meant but it was what I was drawn to. The reason perhaps I was so drawn to this concern over encouragement is that it really does mean a lot to me. I really believe it is not only a needed virtue for all of us but it is also one that is so hard to master. In a world where there is so much evil, to find the good takes someone who really wants to find it. It is an intentional search and for those who choose to be an encourager, they will do so only as they discipline themselves.
I was told once by an older, wiser man that for every criticism we give a child, we ought to find ten words of encouragement. I think this also goes for adults as well. I think it goes for those who attend church also. And this is where I am most passionate. I know that for most people who attend church they do so after a difficult week where not everyone appreciates their faith. They can easily be discouraged by the critics at the workplace. What they need on Sunday is encouragement. That doesn’t mean there will not be difficult truths conveyed; it just means that every attender needs to leave with hope. After all, the gospel is “Good News” and good news is anything but discouraging. So, if my words at times seem less encouraging, I apologize. They are only meant to be negative to those who refuse to be positive. From now on I’ll try to use the 10:1 ratio. If it works for kids, it ought to work for the rest of us as well.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com