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In his book,
Winning Attitudes, John Maxwell writes, "From my earliest recollections
I do not remember a compliment or affirmation from my father. His
father also had thought it unmanly to express affection or even appreciation.
My grandfather was a perfectionist who worked hard and expected everyone
else to do the same without positive reinforcement. And since he
was neither positive nor relational, he had constant turnover in employees.
Because of my background it has been difficult for me to encourage my family.
This critical and negative attitude has hindered my work. I raised
five children and lived a Christian life before them. Sadly, it is
easier for them to recognize my love for God than my love for them.
They are all starved for positive affirmation. The tragedy is that they
have received this bad attitude trait, and now I see them passing it down
to my precious grandchildren. Never before have I been so aware of
catching an attitude from surrounding conditions. Obviously, this
wrong attitude has been passed along for five generations. It is
now time to stop it! Today I made a conscious decision to change.
This will not be done overnight, but it will be done. It will not
be accomplished easily, but it will be accomplished!” (P, 51)
Maxwell is astute in seeing that the dysfunction has been inherited
from his family and that he has passed it down the line. He is wise
in seeing that the cycle doesn’t have to continue. People can change family
systems. Which leads me to a powerful truth: Just as a parent's example
can influence a child to do wrong, it can also influence them to do right
You may never win the Nobel Prize, or be elected to a high office,
but you can still leave a legacy–a legacy of faith. Which, by the
way, might just have a greater impact on the world than any other accomplishment
you might achieve.
Read the sermon this devotional is based on at http://www.freshministry.org/061905.html
For more information on Winning Attitude, go to http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0785267816/freshministry