Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Victorious Victim?

How do Christians do it? I simply don't understand! Christians are supposed to be victorious. Don't get me wrong, I understand hardship in life, difficulties and such; I've had them myself. How can you get up every day thinking about how bad your life is? What, do you actively look for the negative and focus on it? Tonight at Bible study we were doing a study in "Becoming a Contagious Christian," the leader made a statement (only for discussion purposes, I don't know anyone in the group who really thinks this way) about how life is about hardships, trials and difficulties. Yes, I know the Bible says that we will have hardships and be persecuted, but shouldn't we at least wake up with a bright perspective. The Bible also says that (loosly quoted) so as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Maybe I could be accused of being overly optimistic, after all I refer to myself as an "eternal optimist." I responded to his question by saying that life should rather be about opportunity, joy and blessings. Come on fellow Christians, get up tomorrow and think to yourself about how you can bless someone today, even if all you can do is give a stranger a real smile. I guarantee, the more you wake up with this perspective you will start to have more joy and optimism in your life! The Bible says the two greatest commandments are to love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. As you practice this your life will change every day, because it takes the focus off of you and puts it on others!

2 Supposings:

Anonymous Barb supposed...

What an "eternal optimist" thinks about life is something those who by nature (except for God) would be "eternal pessimists" see as unrealistic. Some sensitive personalities, mine included, have to fight to see good in hard times sometimes. Furthermore, we see your "type" of person as (at best sometimes) "annoyingly cheerful, :) " and when at our worst, we perceive you all as cold and without compassion! But acknowledging that, God wants us (sensitives) to meditate on things like Rom 8:28 (all things work together for good...) and James 2:4-7 (count it all joy...because trials work on our character) and verses that talk about how Jesus went through trials (knowing the joy set before Him He endured...). That is one way of growing up and maturing. Personally, I mix faith with my trials by praying one verse quite often (I think God wrote it for us "sensitives"): "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief." Fortunately for all of us, with all our differing personality types, God has remedies. But we need to acknowledge our weaknesses and seek Him to find them. His desire for us as we mature, I believe, is for us to "even out" in our reactions so we are balanced in character and temperament. I believe that will happen as I actively hold up the Word of God to my feelings and reactions, and confess what I think and how I react to God, letting Him change me (not being a forgetful hearer, as James says). In the meantime, I must not judge how others handle things. I am glad God says He is the author and finisher of our faith, and He will perfect that which concerns each of us.

10:33 AM  
Blogger SweetChicken supposed...

The answer to your question "What, do you actively look for the negative and focus on it?" is yes. Just as you wake up in the morning and actively focus on the good, a pessimist will wake up and actively look for the negative. It's very easy to rationalize "unrealistic" (as your mom said) ways of thinking. Using Phil. 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. "
as an example consider both ways of thought. An optimist may feel that God wishes us to dwell only on the good, and you forget that He also asks us to think about the Truth and Justice. Sometimes truth and justice are very harsh. A pessimist, on the other hand, tends to hyper-focus on the truth -- what he sees as reality -- and forgets to look for the good. Neither is a healthy way of thinking. As your mom says, the goal is to be "balanced".

Phil. 4:5 says "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand."

James 1: 2-6 says "2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. "

If you merely go through your trials and "put on a happy face" then you will miss the deepest part of the lesson. However, if you go through them with the right perspective -- this is not something to simply push through, but to be learned from -- then you have a better chance at learning what God wanted to teach you in the first place. For patience to "have her perfect work" you must be willing to see your own sin, your own part in the experience, and to admit to the evil in life. You won't influence the world like you want to if you ignore the evil in it. You must be equally aware of both sides of the coin.

8:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home