The Power of Positive Praise
I came across some interesting statistics in my life coaching course:
- The number one reason people leave a job is that they don’t feel appreciated.
- In the past year, 65% of the workforce in the US received no praise.
- The frequency of praise and recognition in the workplace should be no less than once per week.
- For healthy relationships, the ratio of positive comments to negative comments should be 5 to 1.
- Positive emotion can increase life expectancy by 10 years.
The power of positive praise to the human heart cannot be overstated. Have you ever known someone who believed in you, someone who frequently spoke words of encouragement and praise? The kind of person who made you feel you could do it, whatever “it” was? That is the kind of person God wants us to be.There are numerous verses in Scripture that encourage us to be encouragers of others:
- “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
- “The tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21).
- “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.” (Proverbs 10:11)
- “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)
Our words make an impact. If you are struggling to be a person of positive praise, as I am lately, refuse to accept it. We might say, “I’m just a worrier. I was born that way.” Or, “It’s my nature to be a pessimist.” But God will have none of that. He is in the personality-changing business. He wants us to “be conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Romans 8:29). I don’t know about you but I want to be known for my encouraging words and my positive attitude. Here are some practical tips to help us bring change into this crucial area of our lives:
- Develop a positive thought life. Spend time in God’s Word. Meditate on the verses that speak about encouragement. I love how Paul encourages this: “Finally…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). A lot of times, our ability to praise others starts with our thoughts. God can transform us by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) with His thoughts.
- When you wake up, ask God for help. In order to be a person of praise and encouragement, we need to ask God for help first thing in the morning. It is an intentional act, saying, “Lord, I can’t do this on my own, please help me to focus on the positive today instead of the negative!” In my journal during my quiet time with the Lord each morning, I usually write out a prayer asking God for strength to be an encourager, not a criticizer, and for self-control in handling any negative emotions that come up.
- Monitor your remarks. It helps if we can be aware of what we are saying. One time a close friend gently remarked that I was sounding rather negative one day, more than usual. I started paying attention and realized I had adopted the habit of negative thinking and “venting” without even realizing it. When we pay more attention and have a goal of making our positive comments outweigh negative ones, soon it will become a habit.
- Be intentional about encouraging others. This is where a little goes a long way. Pick one person each day and decide to send either a note, a text, an email or phone call with something to encourage that person. Maybe it is a verse or something you appreciate about them. But intentionally encouraging others brings joy not only into their lives but into ours as well.
There is so much power in our words! Why not make them positive? Choose today to be an encourager.
**What practical tips have you found to be helpful in becoming a person who brings praise and encouragement to others?