I was just about to get the lawn mower out the other day when my 6 year old grandson arrived, carrying his football. He was as desperate to play football as I was to cut the grass – guess what we ended up doing!
Obviously the grass could wait and spending time with my grandson was more important, so we had a kick around the garden, wearing ourselves out in the process.
I must admit that I was never very good at football, but my grandson is just the opposite. He loves the game and I always praise him whenever he gets a good shot in or gets the ball past me. I also make a point of letting others know how good he is, as the power of praise is awesome.
There is hardly a person on the face of the planet who does not respond to it. Most of us know how effective praise can be in the work situation - but forget that, to a child, it can be like rain in a desert.
I remember growing up as a child and hearing many negative remarks such as being told by a teacher that I would never amount to anything. The only thing that I would be good at was cleaning toilets he quipped.
As it turns out, his words were somewhat prophetic as when I ran a church drop in centre, cleaning the toilets was part of the job. I would start cleaning the centre each day from as early as 5-00am before going home to change before returning to oversee the daily activities.
It was challenging but rewarding work and something that gave me a sense of purpose at the time. Helping people less fortunate than yourself makes one appreciate the little things that make life better. Plus, the feedback from those who we helped was always positive, which made us feel good.
Sadly, for many people, especially children, praise is something they might rarely hear. But the simple truth is, everybody needs someone to encourage them with positive praise. Whether in the work place, at school or at home, we all need encouragement.
Proverbs 12: v25 says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Just a simple ‘well done’ or “that’s really good” can make a huge difference to someone and can sometimes encourage them to keep going, something that is especially important during the lockdown.
Perhaps we should challenge ourselves to get into the habit of praising others.
Speaking of challenges, like many others, I have been trying to exercise most days and have decided to have another go at running and I use this time to pray for our villages as I pass through. So, if you see me out and about running, all red faced and sweaty, give me some encouragement to keep going and don’t be worried that I’ve started talking to myself!
May I wish you all a very blessed Easter.
Alleluia! He is Risen.
He is risen indeed, Alleluia!