Looking At the Pros

Have you noticed how almost every situation or circumstance in life contains both pros and cons? Sometimes when we’re battling with the cons, it can be difficult to see the pros, but it’s always possible if we try. If nothing else, we can see how the negative situation can help us grow in some way—patience, perseverance, forgiveness, trust in God, etc.

I’ve had to put this principle to work lately concerning our neighborhood. If I’m not careful, I can let a couple of cons—and I don’t mean crooks, I mean negative things—really get on my nerves and suck the joy out living where we do. And it’s nothing horrific—just a lack of consideration.

So to keep the negative thinking at bay, I try to remember the positive things—the pros. If I step outside at the right time in the morning, I can hear church bells calling children to school. And nothing says “fall” like being able to hear the high school marching band practicing a few blocks away. We also have some nice neighbors, and we’re in a convenient location for the most part. As I look at the pros, I’m reminded how good we actually have it in our neighborhood.

Are you faced with a situation where it might be helpful to balance the cons out with the pros—a situation where some time spent looking at the positive might change your outlook? I’ll fess up to another. I have an ongoing struggle with my attitude concerning our community and all the things it doesn’t have to offer. Maybe it’s time I come up with a new list. Maybe it’s time I start looking at the pros, huh?

“. . . if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8b

*Flickr photo by Wiertz Sebastien, Creative Commons License


  1. I certainly need to make a list concerning our struggling church. It’s so easy to stay mired in the negatives. There’s so many positives to celebrate! Thanks for the reminder, Cheryl.


  2. So true. When we focus on the negative it makes it very difficult to see the positive. If we DECIDE we are going to LOOK for the positive the negative doesn’t seem quiet as bad. Great post… I think it’s something we ALL struggle with from time to time.

    Glad to see your glass is half full!

  3. Here’s a weird thought – both “pro” and “con” have double meanings. I thought you were talking about “professionals” and “convicts” at first!

    Working as an artist in a sort of crummy place (poor, uneducated, fat, bad air – just a few of our outstanding features!) has made me a “pro” at finding the “pros”.

    Maybe if you carry your new camera with you, the pros will become more visible. It works for me!

    And check out Chris LoCurto’s blog today – helps us understand the Why of others’ bad behavior.

  4. Jana, that’s an interesting thought about carrying the camera with me. I can see how that would make me look at things with different eyes. Good idea!

  5. elbt08

Leave a Comment