My beloved’s (aka, husband, Steve) birthday is today. Sunday night, we had a special event in our church in which he was honored with tributes from around the world for his service to God, but even more so, for who he is—a man of integrity, leadership, and sacrifice. Friends from his past and present appeared live and via video to share some of the humorous antics they had experienced with Steve, but they all focused on the nobility of his character more than anything else. It was a great time, a time that both Steve and I will cherish in our memories for the rest of our lives, I’m sure.
I had the privilege of concluding the meeting with my own wifely tribute to him. It was a special opportunity, for my husband is truly a man worthy of honor. I was excited to get to stand before those who are nearest and dearest to us and extol the virtues of my man. However, though I am not a stranger to public speaking, this kind of speaking is a whole different style than what I am used to. Because it pertains to issues close to my heart, I tend to get emotional—not a quality I appreciate when I am making a point.
I decided that the best way to combat emotionalism was to plan carefully what I wanted to say and then to concentrate on the “script.” I thought that by “scripting” what was in my heart, I would be less likely to get emotional and detract from my tribute to Steve. It was a good idea, but it didn’t work. Though I spent most of the week thinking about what I was going to say, I still got emotional, I did not stay on script, but thankfully, I was able to articulate a few coherent thoughts about the man that Steve is.
Nevertheless, all that thinking and planning and scripting was not in vain. Quite the contrary! Throughout the course of the week, my love and affection and appreciation for Steve seemed to intensify. I realized this is what happens when you “meditate” on someone’s strengths—their weaknesses diminish and you can see them in a fresh light, the light of goodness and virtue and beauty.
Don’t get me wrong; I always know that Steve is good man. However, I cannot say that I typically give it as much thought as I did this past week. I was continuously going over in my mind what specific traits I wanted to honor him for. I would think of the examples I could share that would demonstrate the nobleness of his character. I recalled memories from our history together where he rose above negative circumstances and exuded a faith, hope and love that was other-worldly.
It hit me that my increased affection was due to the fact that I was only thinking about the good things in Steve, and I had been thinking like this for about a week. I remembered a Proverb that states, “He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it” (Pro 11:27). I saw firsthand how true that is. If we are seeking/thinking about the good, it kind of drowns out the negative; it certainly minimizes its effect upon the one doing the thinking. On the other hand, if you are meditating on all the shortcomings (evil), that’s what you will get (shortcomings and evil).
It would behoove us all to FOCUS more on our loved ones’ good qualities rather than nit-picking all their weaknesses. It will certainly make life more pleasant for both parties!
All this reminds me of another scripture penned by the Apostle Paul: “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…”
What do you “seek” most of the time? The good or the evil?