While reading the book “Letters to the Church” by Francis Chan over the Christmas holiday season, I was reminded by the author of how easy it is for people (all of us) to be critical. Thanks to the power of digital technology, we can express our opinions more easily today than ever before. Social media in particular makes it a cinch to share a negative review, experience, or opinion for just about all areas of our lives: religion, politics, family, and so forth.
Francis Chan obviously pointed out ways Christians need to really be careful of how they express themselves online and in person.
This is not a book review, but it did make an impact and leave me with this takeaway: be more positive in 2019.
Here is one thing I’ll be working on in my own life this year: I don’t want to be as quick to give my opinion. I want to listen more, ask good questions, and, when the time is right, offer an opinion. This is something I’ll be working on in both my personal and business life.
If you are a business owner or manager, perhaps you’d benefit as well from slowing down and giving fewer opinions. Instead, let your team members figure things out on their own – asking good questions is always a better way to run a successful business. It is just a bit too easy to jump in, give an opinion, or be immediately critical.
You and I can make such an impact and difference in our business and on the people around us when we commit to staying positive when it comes to our interactions and opinions. I am always pretty careful of what I say on social media, since I am in that line of work, but having a subtle reminder here and there never hurts.
It will take some real work for some of us (I’m pointing at myself here). But, as James 1:19 says, “…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
I am a detailed person and tend to be very orderly and have my ducks in a row. While this may be a positive, it does mean that I can be critical of others who don’t line up or do things the way I think they should be done. While reading Chan’s book over the holiday, and throughout a series of events in 2018, I began to realize how important it is for me to work on how I treat those around me.
Creating a positive and encouraging company culture is what I’ve always wanted to do and have been striving to do, but I think I lost sight of that in the midst of 2018’s changes, distractions, and busy seasons. Now that I’ve settled down a bit, caught my breath, and looked back, I want to refresh my commitment to building relationships that are built upon me being an encourager and an enabler – not one who is quick to be critical.
I hope you find my honest post helpful as you start 2019.