Did you ever leave church or a social gathering more discouraged than when you came? Maybe the majority of your conversations were largely negative. Sometimes our conversations just get in a negative rut and it’s hard to reverse and go in a better direction.
What can you do? Everyone has problems and needs a listening ear. You want to show concern, even when you can’t solve their problems. There’s a time to weep with those who weep. But we also want to make most of our conversations uplifting.
Today’s world is a desert thirsty for encouragement. If you are in ministry you have a constant need to connect with people, sometimes the same one over and over. We often talk about the weather, which may not be pleasant at the time, or ask how the person is, which may not be pleasant either. Then how can we steer the conversation in a positive direction?
The biggest enemy of positive conversation is negative subjects. Yes, we need to take a stand against the evils of the world, but sometimes these negative subjects dominate our conversations. It’s hard to have uplifting conversation about abortion, gun control, political leaders we don’t like, immorality in the world today, unemployment, or high prices. We may need to talk about these things sometimes, but we need to balance them with the positive aspects of life if we want to encourage ourselves and others.
Preparing Yourself for Positive Impact
Matthew 15:18 says, “Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart.” (NKJV) So if I have a positive heart, I will say positive words that will encourage everyone around me. What positive things can I think and talk about to balance out all the negatives of life? Here are some ideas:
1. What new thing can I thank God for today?
2. What small success can I celebrate in my life or the lives of others?
3. What everyday thing have I been overlooking that could bring me joy?
4. Have I found something in a book or blog recently that has encouraged me?
5. What nice things have other people done for me recently?
6. What advantages do I have that make my life easier than life 30 years ago?
7. Who could I call that I haven’t talked to for a while?
8. Was I expecting some bad thing to happen that turned out better than I thought?
9. What’s one nice memory I haven’t thought about for a while?
10. What ordinary people do I have in my life who bring me joy every day?
As we think about answers to these questions this week, we can become positive people who are ready to make a positive impact on a negative world.