What do you remember about people? The good experiences or the bad experiences? Paul said, “I like to remember the good things about people, focus on the good times we’ve had, remember the positive experiences.”
When Paul said this he had not had an easy time in Philippi. Acts 16 tells us that when he went to Philippi he was illegally arrested, whipped, humiliated, and thrown into prison — before finally being asked to leave town. Yet he says, “I thank God every time I remember you.”
Paul could have dwelt on the negative. He could have remembered the painful memories. He chose not to remember the painful; instead, he focused on the things he could be grateful for.
Maybe you have been hurt in the past by a parent or a partner and you’re still holding on to that hurt. As a result you can’t enjoy being around them today. You’re still focusing on the bad and the negative. Be grateful for the good in people. Pleasant memories are a choice. I can choose what I’m going to remember about the past.
If you want to enjoy others, you’ve got to focus on their strengths and not their weaknesses. With some people it takes a lot of creativity. But you can find something good in everybody.
I’m not saying that you deny the hurts you’ve had or that you excuse the weaknesses in other people. That is psychologically unhealthy. But focus on the good and choose to emphasize the strengths.
—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional
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