“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
When Edith to a new town, she missed her best friend. She began calling her friend every week. But after two or three chats, she noticed a disturbing trend. Every time she called, her friend boarded a negative train.
She would complain about her husband, her kids, and her job. Every positive would somehow be transformed and her words were all gloom and doom.
Finally, Edith decided to gently re-direct her friend’s thoughts. When the other woman began complaining, Edith would ask a question. She asked questions like these:
- What’s happened to you this week that’s been good?
- What are you praising God for today?
- Who has been blessing you this month?
Slowly, her friend began to move her focus from the negative to the positive. Like Edith, you may have a friend or loved one that’s always looking at the worst case scenario. But you can gently encourage your friend by asking questions that shift her focus.
God, let the words I speak to my friends and family be encouraging. I don’t want to bring them down with a sour outlook. Show me how to uplift and minister to others during our conversations. In Jesus’ name, Amen.