September 16, 2020
Staying Positive, part 3

By Dr. Oliver Wagner, Senior Pastor
"And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things." Mark 6:34
The article in the Jobs section of the AJC was so helpful and insightful I’ve been reflecting on it all week in these devotionals! The article suggests “If you’re having a bad day, don’t let that ruin everyone else’s day.” We all have bad days. How can we not let the bad overtake us such that we are spewing negativity and pulling others down with us? The suggestion is this: do small acts of kindness. When you do, it will take the focus off of you and your problems and help you see and care about other people. Doing small acts of kindness will help you feel better by giving you a different perspective and broader experience.

To do this, you’ll need to be proactive and extend a lifeline to someone who could use it. Pick up the phone, send an email of appreciation, offer some praise to someone on something. Maybe bake and deliver some cookies or send a note in the mail. A little affirmation goes a long way and we all need to hear it once in a while. Maybe you can be that voice of support that makes a difference for good in someone’s day. And if you are a leader or in a position of management at work or in an organization or family, a simple “thank you” goes a long way in helping others feel appreciated, noticed and motivated.  The Wharton School at U Penn has done research to find what an amazing difference a few words of praise or acknowledgement actually do. Employees work harder and have greater job satisfaction when they know and hear they are appreciated! Bill Friday was the President of the University of North Carolina and he began every work day by writing thank you notes of appreciation.

When we stop having self-pity parties and pay attention to those around us, we can always find a word or a small act of kindness to offer them. Doing so makes a difference for good in them…and in you. It’s just one more thing each of us can do to turn a negative environment into a positive one. So, why not try it today? 
Lord Jesus, you saw those around you who needed help, hope or healing and you acted with compassion and pity to bless them. Give me such eyes that knowing all of you have done for me I may take action in word and deed do good for others. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009