START HERE

Today’s Truth

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.

Ephesians 2:10

Friend to Friend

As an elementary school teacher, I am fairly certain I learned a whole lot more than my students did. My first full-time teaching position was in a school of 900 students, K3 through second grade.

As I read over the files of my students, I was appalled at the labels that had been attached to these kids by their previous teachers. At the ripe old age of six, these children were described as corrupt, bad, failures, impossible to control … and one child was actually pronounced “stupid.” I was furious! I was also determined to change the way the children saw themselves. I pulled out all the stops to help them understand how special they were, but “Star of the Day” was by far the most successful.

First, I bought a piece of yellow foam board, cut out a huge star, decorated it with glitter, used adhesive letters to write “Star of the Day,” and attached it to my classroom door. I then took a picture of each student in my classroom. Each day, I chose a student to be the Star of the Day and attached his or her photo to the star. I also made a badge that read “Star of the Day” which the student wore all day long. My husband built a special desk, painted it gold, attached dime store jewels and streamers, and mounted the desk to a small platform. The Star of the Day sat on their “throne” all day.

The Star of the Day was my personal assistant, handing out papers, running errands, sharpening pencils … whatever I needed done. The other students watched the Star to see all of the good things he or she did. It could be something as simple as picking up a dropped pencil … or opening the door … or being especially nice to someone who was struggling.

At the end of the day, I gathered all of the children in a circle around the Star of the Day. Each student shared one good thing they had seen the Star do that day. No negative comments were allowed. And every student had to participate. It was amazing to watch the transformation in the students as they learned to look for the good in each other and share it with others.

We need to do the same with the people in our world. We need to look for the good things in each other … not the bad. We need to be quick to draw attention to the worthy things we see each other do and applaud those things.

Our words should be filled with acceptance and approval. We need to be cautious with criticism and liberal with praise.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “So encourage each other to build each other up.”

People become what we encourage them to be. We need to train our hearts and minds to pass over faults in search of strong points. We should choose to draw the strong qualities of others into the spotlight.

We really can learn to look for reasons in each other to praise God. Everyone needs a cheerleader. When we choose to look for the good in each other, an amazing transformation happens. Our perspective of people changes, but that is not all. The people in our world begin to see themselves differently – the way Jesus sees them, precious and chosen – like a star of the day.

Let’s Pray

Father, I am amazed by the truth that You love me and chose me to be Your very own. I don’t understand such love, but I embrace it as the precious gift that it is. Help me remember that in Your eyes, I am planned, wanted, loved and chosen.

In Jesus’ Name.

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Do you battle feelings of insecurity? Read Psalm 139 once each day for a month and see how God changes your perspective.

Is your mind often filled with negative thoughts about who you are and what you do? Read and memorize 2 Corinthians 10:5. When those negative thoughts come, reject them with this truth. 

More from the Girlfriends

Join Mary and women across the world each Wednesday beginning September 5 for a free Facebook Live Bible Study, Sandpaper People.

Learn how to deal with the difficult people in your life. Perfect for personal or small group study.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through E-mail, Twitter, Instagram, Shopify, or on Facebook.

6 Responses to “Looking for the Good”

  1. Dorothy says:

    Hello beloved women of God,

    I am a fan of your devotionals and been following.

    This one today was like God was speaking to me. I have been facing storms especially from work and some friend who hurt me either by demeaning me or using hurtful words. I am so encouraged to hear God and learn how to deal with it. Equally that God may deal with any flaws in me for His glory.

    May God bless you and lift you even as you serve in Jesus name.

  2. CJ says:

    This was what I needed to hear. I have been having an especially hard time with my oldest daughter who is very strong-willed and tends to not listen and that is so very frustrating to me to deal with in the light of my youngest daughter who is extremely sensitive to others feelings and listens very well. My oldest gets mad when she gets in trouble for not listening and takes it out of the youngest for doing the right thing. It’s heartbreaking to watch and I admit I get very upset about it. I pray daily for patience while dealing with my oldest however it is a work in progress. I especially love your statement of being very cautious with criticism but very liberal with praise. It will be something I will focus on doing with both of my kids. Bless you for bringing such positivity to those students and Thank you for giving to the Lord.

  3. Sandra Boys says:

    I really like all your posts, Mary. Thank you for sharing with us. You make my heart smile and I often need that.

  4. YVONNE says:

    Mary, that was a very good devotional. I love what you did with your students. We do need to find the good qualities in others and focus on them. I don’t think that “approval” is necessary when accepting someone. I guess the “approval” of someone has a negative connotation because of the way the world shoves approval down our throats. If you don’t “approve” of my life style you can’t love me. I believe accepting someone for who they are is different than “approving” of their choices. I really enjoy reading your devotionals. Always good and thought provoking!

  5. Chizurum says:

    This is truly an eye opener, a reminder that God will have us love as He loves and accept people, not for anything they have done but for who they are.

  6. Lisa says:

    Love, LOVE, LOVE this! Thank you for sharing, Mary. You are always a blessing and encouragement.

    Love you!

Leave a Reply

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8