“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
Proverbs 25:11, NIV

Andrew Carnegie was a master at developing people. A reporter once asked him how he had managed to hire forty-three millionaires. Carnegie said they had not been millionaires when they started working for him; they became millionaires as a result.

The reporter then wanted to know how he had developed these people to be such valuable leaders. Carnegie said, “Men are developed the same way gold is mined. Several tons of dirt must be moved to get an ounce of gold. But you do not go into the mine looking for the dirt…you go in looking for the gold.”

Let me ask you a question concerning the people in your life. Are you going for the gold or are you looking for the dirt? Many school teachers have a motto: “Catch them doing something right.”

One of the best ways to encourage kids is to help them to picture a positive future for themselves. Bill Glass once asked a group of a thousand prison inmates, “How many of you had parents who told you that you would end up in prison one day?” Almost every one of the inmates raised his hand. There is destructive power in a negative vision. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV)

Soon after Walt Disney World was completed someone said, “It is too bad that Walt Disney did not live to see this?” Mike Vance, creative director at Disney Studios replied, “He did see it…that is why it is here!” Flip Wilson was right…. “What you see IS what you get.” What do you see for others? What are you helping them to picture for themselves?

People will replay your encouraging words over and over again in the theater of their minds. The final chapter has not been written yet in anyone’s life who is still on earth. And the great news is this: God is the God of surprise endings! So, go for the gold!

QUESTION: Are you going for the gold or are you looking for the dirt?