Any great leader I’ve ever known has been a positive person. And that attitude is most clearly demonstrated through their words. Good leaders are good encouragers. They make you feel good by being around them, because they speak words of faith, hope, and life. The Bible says, “How good and delightful is a word spoken at the right moment – how good it is!” (Proverbs 15:23b, AMP). I want to be a person who speaks a good word at the right time, and I know you do as well. But to be that kind of leader, we must start by looking for the good in every situation.
At any given point, we can usually find both good and bad circumstances around us. Unfortunately, it seems that human nature is to dwell on the negative. For instance, you may receive five compliments in a day and one criticism, but the comment that sticks in your mind the most is the one critical remark. You see, focusing on good things does not come naturally. That’s why we have to take control of our thinking and choose to dwell on what is right, not what is wrong.
The apostle Paul understood the importance of this principle and told the Philippian church members, “Whatsoever things are honest … just … pure … lovely … of good report … if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8, KJV). His words apply to us today as well. We should take stock of our thoughts and make sure the things we dwell on are “of good report.”
Sometimes, if I think I’ve had a “bad” day, I take a few moments to write down the highlights of my day. I make a list of all the good things that happened, and I find that my attitude dramatically changes. I realize it wasn’t such a bad day after all. Listing our blessings helps us to remember the good things God has done for us that we may have forgotten.
Or sometimes while I’m walking my dog in the morning, I’ll think back to the good things that happened the day before and thank God for them. This helps me to start my day with a positive mindset and expect more good things to happen today. Those are simple actions, but they help me to focus on what is right, not what is wrong.
We should also help people around us focus on good things. I’ve seen my dad do this many times. As a minister for over 45 years, he has spent much of his time helping people who are facing bad reports. But Dad has a way of bringing people hope by finding a good report.
For instance, I’ve seen him visit hospital patients who are growing discouraged by their condition. But Dad will notice that even while they may not be completely well, their condition is at least improving. He’ll comment about how much better they look from the last time he visited them and how he believes they are on the mend. He’ll then pray with them, believing God for their complete healing. That little bit of good news can completely change a person’s perspective.
We should all make sure that we frame our perspectives with good reports, not bad ones. Jesus said, “Seek, and you will find” (Matthew 7:7). If you look for the bad, you’ll find it; if you look for the good, you’ll find that instead! So, look for good things in your life and those around you. There’s enough bad news out there; make a point to share good news with others.
Leadership Lesson: Be an encourager who speaks a good word at the right time.