Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | April 17, 2012

Focusing on the positive

Today’s guest writer is Teresa Parsons.  There is more information about Teresa at the end of this post.

Recently in church we were reminded of the laws God handed to Moses. The Ten Commandments are a list of what we should NOT do. Jesus so beautifully summarized these ten laws into two things that we SHOULD do. He flipped it around and focused on the positive.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” Matthew 22:37 and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:39.

I know that I respond very well to constructive criticism when it is framed with recognition of something positive that I do. I am totally motivated to make myself even better! Not only do I know this importance through my own reflection, but I also hold a masters degree in education, where this lesson was reinforced each semester.

Yet, when it comes to my own children, this knowledge sometimes is forgotten or ignored. I hear myself yelling to “motivate” them to get ready in the morning. When I hear them bickering, I reinforce their behavior by adding one more voice in the room yelling. I’m not yelling about what reward they will get if their behavior improves. No, I am yelling to take away a privilege. “No Wii for the rest of the day”. (sigh)

How can I keep falling down on this when I know better? I feel so grateful to be reminded again of the importance of focusing on the positive. How lucky are we that God loved us so much He sent His only son to save us from our sins?

I invite you to notice one positive thing today about each person in your family. Does this small action make your day better?

Teresa Parsons lives with her family in Victor, NY.  She is the mother of a first grader and third grader.

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