BROTHERS KEEPER
Praised to life

Once upon a time, there were three siblings who were all excited to grow into big, fruit-laden trees. One day, three gardeners came and bought one each. The first gardener was a negative person. As her tree grew, she constantly griped about its imperfections. Its leaves mess up her lawn and it doesn’t give enough nutrients to its fruits so they come out small. She often compared it to other trees. The hurtful words developed wood rot in the tree’s heart.

The second gardener was appreciative but kept his praises secret. At first, the tree had lush branches and sweet, juicy fruits. Its gardener didn’t want the other trees to see how he prized this tree for fear they’d get jealous. This tree asked, “If no one hears the affirmation, was I really praised?” It became sad and stopped growing.

The third gardener loved to show off his tree. He proudly shared its fruits with his neighbors. The tree reveled in his praise and grew greener and more fruitful.

Like these trees, people need affirmation to become productive. Praise denied hurts, praise hidden stunts, while praise uttered gives life. Lella M. Santiago (lellams88@gmail.com)

From them will resound songs of praise. – Jeremiah 30:19

Reflection: People, especially your children and those who work for you, need your affirmation. Have you praised someone out loud lately?

Jesus, may my mouth always spout sweetness with praises for You and for the people around me.


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