For we are His handiwork…Ephesians 2:10
After I finished the supper dishes tonight, I asked my son Jason what I should write tomorrow’s blog about. He grinned and said, “Why don’t you write about how awesome I am.” I laughed and said, “Ok, tell me three things that make you awesome.” He declined. He said through his goofy little laugh, “You have to think of them cause if I do that would just be bragging.” I thanked him for his sudden burst of humility. An hour later, here I sit and I can’t seem to move past the topic. It’s important for everyone to understand that our Jason is and has always been the “funny guy” of the house and he is going to be completely stunned when he sees this blog and realizes he gave his mamma the perfect idea.
Not wanting to sound like a gushing mother, I went directly to Jason’s little sister Shannon for an objective perspective and told her what I was planning to write about. She smiled and said, “That will be the easiest blog you’ve ever written.” She went on to tell me that Jason was the funniest, friendliest, most patient guy she knew. She also added that he was a great teacher, he wasn’t spoiled or worried about showing off and best of all, he always talks to everyone including his little sister in the hallways at school.“He’s someone I look up to...he's my role model.” she said sweetly. WOW! I’ll admit it, my eyes leaked a few tears! Everything she mentioned had to do with how her brother treated others and not about his personal talents or gifts. If I was a bettin’ woman, I would bet if I ask Jason to tell me about Shannon, he would come up with a similar list. Dave and I have been blessed with three great kids but their goodness or “awesomeness”as Jason would say comes not from us, but from the God who shared them with us. They seek and share the positive.
Yesterday I spent a terrific day with a group of school staff and parents from all over the Lansing area learning about Virtues based school discipline. One of the many, many great things I took from that day was a powerful reminder of the value of looking for the good in others and focusing on the positives. We began with a sharing circle and we were asked to speak about a person who had been an inspiration to us. It was a very powerful experience leaving us all realizing how blessed we were. Many times a training like this would have begun by asking us to share our biggest problem or issue with student behavior. Automatically starting with something positive framed the attitude and atmosphere for the entire day. We discussed the three Theological Virtues which are Faith, Hope and Love. If we were to speak and act with those virtues and look for those virtues in others the world would change in an instant. We were reminded of the words of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta who when asked what needed to change most in this world, she simply pointed to herself and said, “I do.”
Living a virtuous life is putting the Gospel message in action. Treating others with kindness, compassion, love, patience and humility is the stuff Mother Teresa was referring to. Treating others that way gives us hearts and eyes to see God’s handiwork in others, especially the ones that are difficult. What do you suppose would happen if the next time that challenging person in your life entered the room you IMMEDIATELY began to think of three positive things about them instead of the things about them that frustrate or annoy you. That’s virtue in action. What if instead of pointing out your hard work and effort you made it a point to recognize the work and effort of someone else first. What if we each made it our mission today to purposely make someone else look good. Give it a try.
If you made a list of the people you enjoy being around most, chances are those are the people who are positive and demonstrate virtue. Those kinds of folks are like MAGNETS because we all seek them and what they freely offer. Instead of seeking that person…why not BE that person...BE THE MAGNET! We are His handiwork so that means we have all the equipment necessary…we simply have to ask Him to show us which virtue to begin practicing first.
A seed to plant: Take ten minutes to do a search of virtues or read Colossians 3:12-13. Pray over those words and ask God to show you where to begin.
Blessings on your day!
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