You catch more flies with honey...

There's an old saying: "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."  While it seems like a waste of perfectly good honey to me, I think it's true. And I think it's worth taking a moment to contemplate why it's true ---and why it's so essential to our joy.

The tenth chapter of my book is all about relationships.  It's an area in peoples' lives that I often see self-inflicted joylessness. I say self-inflicted because mismanaged relationships, neglected friendships, and under-appreciated family members are often of our own doing --- and often the root of our joylessness.

The bible says:  "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." Proverbs 18:21

and

"Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim." Proverbs 15:4

I have the pleasure of knowing leadership author and guru Ken Blanchard.  After 76 years of living, he is convinced that one of the things the world is most starved for is encouragement.

I saw this first hand Thursday night.  I was on Amelia Island leading a retreat with 12 successful business leaders who are enrolled at the Halftime Institute.  They have been on a journey together for the last 6 months trying to figure out God's purpose for their next season of life. We were doing an exercise where each person comes up in front of the others and receives a heart-felt word of encouragement from the other 11. "Here's the goodness I see in you..." The eyes of the givers and the receivers often welled up with tears.  Very moving and powerful. 

I'm not suggesting you make up fake compliments to everyone around you.  Nor an I saying you turn a blind eye to others' faults.  All I am recommending is that you to make it a practice to encourage others more frequently. Catch someone doing something right or helpful or loving, and let them know that you notice it and appreciate them.

This is not about buttering up someone to "win them over." It's simply a way to bless them.  You'll find your own heart being blessed, too.

I am sure none of this is new to you --- just a classic case of commonsense not being commonly practiced.  You can end that today. 

Jeff Spadafora4 Comments