Focus on Good not Bad!

Focus on Good not Bad!

Our family attended a medieval festival this past weekend. We enjoyed an afternoon of family fun: tasted some medieval food, admired the gorgeous costumes and mostly had good time. What shocked my equilibrium was an over-heard conversation. There was an older couple talking with an acquaintance. The man used harsh words to describe a person they all knew and pretty much denigrated that person. I was appalled. Then the acquaintance left. And guess what the man did? He gave another earful of bad-mouthing the acquaintance! It was like this person could not get a nice word out of his mouth!

I’ve been thinking and praying about it. I realize bad-mouthing, complaining and gossiping are ways to connect with people. But I don’t want to have anything to do with that kind of negativity. I don’t want to be a person who adds to the suffering of the world. We have been called to love and not hate. And our words are more than just words. They have power. We need to be careful how we use them. Every time we open our mouths we are either going to accumulate good or bad in this world. Our choice.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 6:12, NIV)

Jerry Bridges says that holiness begins in our minds and works out to our actions. Hence we need to be careful how we feed our hearts and minds. If we fill them with violence, harshness and meanness, that’s what’s going to come out of our mouths. If we will our hearts and minds with things true, noble and gracious, that’s what’s going to come out of our mouths.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. (Phil. 8: 8-9, MSG)

John Wesley urges all of us this way:  “do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can and as long as you can”.

We are called to to do all the good we can.
We are called to focus on good not bad.
We are called to lean on Jesus not on our own strength.
We are called to become holy like Christ is holy.
We are called to share God’s goodness with the world.
We are called to be Christ to the world.

 

 

Gracious God,
Fill the whole world with your Spirit!
Enable us to add goodness to the world.
Enable us to love our enemies.
Fill us with your love and grace.
Enable us to become holy like Christ is holy.
Enable us to be Christ to our neighbors.
Fill the whole world with your Spirit!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How do you respond to bad-mouthing people? What’s your strategy to add goodness to the world?

Be blessed & protected, my fellow pilgrim, as you navigate through harsh words and negative attitudes around you! Be the light!

Photo courtesy of Emanuele Manili

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