When you were a little kid, did you ever try to light something on fire using a magnifying glass? Did you love sitting around a campfire? Or dream about the day when you’d be old enough to light the fireworks yourself? It seems there’s something in all of us that is fascinated by the power of fire. But along with that power comes a lot of responsibility. Depending on how it is used, fire has the power to make our lives better or to destroy everything we care about. But flames aren’t the only things with that kind of power. The Bible teaches that our words, our comments, and our conversations, can have a lot in common with fire. We’ve all seen how words used recklessly can quickly get out of control and leave everything a charred mess. But imagine what would be possible if we began using the power in our words for something good and beautiful instead? What if instead of using our words to destroy, we used them to build something amazing?
Think About This:
Have you ever noticed how sometimes one little thing going wrong can ruin your entire day? Or maybe you’ve noticed the opposite. One small gesture, one kind word, one solid compliment can turn a rotten day into a good one.
In their book, How Full Is Your Bucket, Donald Clifton and Tom Rath talk about how our daily interactions with people have the power to shape our lives—for better or for worse. They say that we all have a bucket and everything negative done to us, and everything negative we do to others works to empty our bucket—poisoning our outlook. At the same time, every positive interaction that we give or receive fills our buckets and improves the way we view the world.
These two authors believe that the daily effort made to fill our buckets (by choosing positive words and actions) could potentially determine a direction for our lives and the lives of those around us.
Whether you buy into this idea completely or not, it’s hard to argue with the power of positivity when you see it in action. And what if they are on to something? What if becoming more intentional about making optimistic choices does intensely impact the relationships we have with those closest to us? Or what if it actually does impact our productivity at work and at home?
Would you be willing to try filling your bucket (and consequently your student’s bucket) with positive words and actions this week? Make it an experiment. Maybe, it will impact the quality of your day. Maybe it will improve the emotional climate of your home.
Maybe it won’t.
But why not try? What’s the worst that could happen?
For whatever reason, the people that mean the most to us are often the ones we have the hardest time encouraging. This week, try working to change that.
This week, try telling your student just how proud of them you really are.
- Choose the time of day: Maybe it’s best to talk to them in the morning. Maybe after school. Maybe in the car. Maybe before bed.
- Choose the method: You can send a text, write a note they’ll find in their backpack, or say it to their face.
Whatever you decide to do, simply make the effort this week to fill your student’s bucket—and when you do, you just may be surprised at how full your own gets in return.