Thursday, November 26 2020 - 4:12 AM
lady sitting with hand on head, looking glum
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Go Negative?

Give us this day our daily rant, and lead us not into contemplation, but deliver us from sanity.

Sometimes our version of “The Lord’s Prayer” is so negative it bears little resemblance to the one he actually prayed.

Have you seen them? I’m talking about those who make it their life mission to highlight all the “evils” in the world, the church, or in the lives of others.

In their minds, the world is a nasty place that needs to be resisted, transformed, and controlled. Very seldom are they able to rise with the dawn and exclaim how wonderful it is to be alive! Rather, for these, life is a burden to be bourn and a mountain to be conquered.

On Facebook, I have noticed people who, on a regular basis, condemn Republicans or Democrats, homosexuals, CNN or Fox News, or a particular politician. Others raise questions about the misbehavior of children in church; about parents who allow their daughters to marry outside of the faith; about church leaders who don’t measure up to their expectations; or about someone’s dress that they deem isn’t appropriate. On and on they go without realizing that the sum of their lives is being marked by negativity rather than joy! They must greet each day with a fair amount of angst because everywhere they turn there is plenty to “not like.”

I can only imagine that living with such people must be like exposing your skin on a regular basis to the steady drip of battery acid. Eventually it’s going to burn!

Choose the Positive

When I look at the big picture, I want move in a different direction, which includes highlighting the positive over the negative. Undoubtedly there are problems in the world and the church, which has been true for centuries. But what if we each turned our energies toward more constructive expressions, like creating healthy conversations about how to navigate life instead of highlighting everyone’s failures?

Rather than finger point and accuse, I want to foster an environment that encourages healing and positive growth.

Of course, if you’re looking for a Facebook page full of “high fives” and pithy responses, then you should go negative. It works every time.

If you enjoyed this you may like, Mood Swings | What is Negativity Bias?

Rich DuBose writes from Northern California.

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About Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference.

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