What do you choose to magnify? That’s a broad question so let’s get more narrow and focused. When you think about your relationships with other people (co-workers, kids, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, siblings, etc) what do you choose to magnify about those people? If you feel a gut-wrenching feeling when you think of certain people, you probably magnify negative things about them. Likewise, if you get a warm-hearted feeling when you think of other people, you probably magnify positive things about them.
I will be preaching a sermon this week called “Your Relational Toolbox” which I talk about two very important tools you have in your toolbox as a person when it comes to relationships with other people. The mirror and the magnifying glass. Today, I want to challenge us in life and leadership with the magnifying glass. Going further, I want to show you what I’m discovering in my own relationships. This is the truth I’m learning = What you magnify, you get more of!
Magnify the right things
My thoughts take me first to when you first meet someone. Be it somebody you have a crush on and want to “mingle” with, a new employer/employee, some new friends, whatever. What do you magnify during the beginning stage of any relationship? The obvious things. Thinking of romance, we will magnify the way somebody looks, their clothes, how their personality is (like if they are funny or sticks in the mud) and so on. Sometimes we just stop there and fail to keep probing deeper into the person’s character. We must use our life and leadership to gain more knowledge of other people’s character. You know what I mean…
“Honey I know you think he’s cute and makes you laugh BUT does he have grocery money?!”
Says every Dad to their daughter
When we begin to mature and grow wiser in life we understand the importance of seeking somebody’s true character, especially if we seek a closer relationship with them. So, that’s application ONE of our magnifying glass as part of our relational toolbox. But what about application TWO?
What you magnify, you get more of…
I think again to “that” married couple we all know. The ones that seem to have been married forever and they act like it. If you get either of them alone they will tell you all the weaknesses of their spouse and the things that get on their ever-lasting nerve about their spouse… Sometimes they even say those things out loud in front of their spouse. It’s so awkward and it’s happened to me on several occasions when I’ve been hanging out with a couple. Going beyond marriage though, this happens in all human relationships.
There comes a point when we use our magnifying glass to magnify the deficit we see in somebody else. We CHOOSE to magnify their weaknesses. Guess what? What you magnify you will surely get more of! You magnify that employees weaknesses, you will only draw out those weaknesses. But what if we chose to magnify the strength we see in others? Now there’s a new train of thought.
My goal with this blog post today is to get us thinking about what we magnify. Then, to challenge us to magnify people’s strengths! Let’s not focus on everybody’s weaknesses because that’s easy and what everybody else in their lives does as well. Let’s be known by the fact that we magnify the strength we see in others. We will magnify these strengths by: telling them, giving them chances to use their strengths, and constantly affirming their strengths.
The same principle applies to the positive side of what we choose to magnify… What you magnify you will get more of! You magnify somebody else’s strength, you will get more of that strength. And, guess what? You will quit dwelling on all the ways they come up short because you won’t be focusing any longer on those things. You’re magnifying the good, the positive, the strength of others!
So, go and be a strength magnifier! Who can you choose to magnify their strengths today? Go and do it!