Do you ever look at all the clothes in your closet and tell yourself you have nothing to wear? No matter how much you have, nothing seems appropriate.
I’ve recently discovered that my choice of apparel or accessories is not as important as I once thought. Unable to decide which pair of earring looked better with my outfit I chose to wear one of each. This kind of spontaneity is unusual for me and I waited for the comments that were sure to come.
Imagine my surprise when my departure from the norm was not noticed. This was a valuable lesson that I am not the center of attention!
More than what I wear, it is my heart and attitude that people notice. My goal should never be to draw attention to myself. Instead I want my life to reflect the light and love of Jesus. To do this I need to wear peace, faith and compassion. These are appropriate for every occasion.
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25 NLT)
Recently I was engaged in an activity I enjoyed. Everything was going along smoothly until someone voiced a few complaints. These were things that I hadn’t noticed previously and that had never interfered with my enjoyment of the activity. Before long I felt my positive attitude slowly being eroded with these negative thoughts.
Things that had never been an issue for me now seemed to be all that I noticed. Instead of focusing on my positive experience I started seeing what could be a negative for others. My peace and enjoyment of the activity slipped into the background.
Looking back on this, I realized anew the effect words have to influence others. It only took a few to change my outlook. If a few words could change my positive thoughts to negative, the reverse must also be true.
That means I need to be very conscious of my words. If I speak in the heat of anger I will regret it later. Instead I need to speak words that will encourage and build others up. On my own, this can prove a difficult task at times. When I stop and pray about my attitude, the words that I speak will be ones that will encourage and build others up. This will ensure that the only way I change someone’s day is to make it more positive.
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:29 NLT)