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I heard the quote “What you appreciate appreciates” in relation to our money, organizations’ influence, and personal relationships from author Lynne Twist. I believe these words resonate more in the area of relationships. The more you show appreciation to those around you, the more it blossoms for both parties. Ironically, we sometimes treat others better than we do those in our immediate inner circle. We are polite to that incorrigible boss to whom we want to tell a few home truths and the coworker we tolerate, yet we easily snap at loved ones. Sure, we have off days, but we should be kind to everyone. Why aren’t we more careful with our words and actions to those close to us? Why is it so easy to lose our cool? Why don’t we cherish our relationships more?

In one of his sermons, Pastor Andy Stanley spoke about finding the most generous explanation for the behavior. He was speaking in the context of couples and their attitudes in fostering great and long-lasting relationships. He said that couples should always believe the best of each other instead of assuming the worst, regardless of how many times the behavior presented itself. “Whoa!” I hear you say. I know, as I uttered the same word and laughed as I recalled fuming to myself when having to wait on someone who was late for the umpteenth time! I made a mental note to believe it was beyond their control.

The face we show to the world shouldn’t be different from the one at home. We are all confronted with little irritants during the day, but if we remember not to react negatively, it will lower our stress levels and blood pressure, as well as put us in a space of grace. Also, when the roles are reversed, we would want that forgiveness and understanding. Of course, you may have a big ego and be resistant to this change. After all, you are the boss and can say and do what you like. However, when you lead with the ego, you are essentially “Edging God Out.”

Like Stanley stated, and we all know, every person always has the choice to make a right decision. So what will you choose? Doing the same thing you always have been doing? How is that working for you? Here’s the point—when you forget the bad behavior and focus on the person, doing so from a foundation of love and appreciation, you will attract the same and it will reflect back on your life.

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