“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin, which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
I won’t pretend that my life is one of the hardest ever lived, but I know that I’ve had a hard life compared to some. This has resulted in me living the first thirty-two (32) years of my life in negativity and anxiety. Recently, in response to my stressful outlook I’ve found the value of placing encouraging people in my life. For example, about a year ago I heard a friend give me some wise advice. He said, “Refuse to listen to the naysayers.” His comment was not for me, but another person whom I was in the room with. However, his comment began a work of God in my life to start eradicating the influence of anxious, negative, bitter, or sour naysayers. I had spent the first thirty-two (32) years of my life around individuals that fostered such an attitude and God convinced me that, enough-was-enough! Since then I’ve began a journey towards a more constructive (some would use the word positive) life by not giving naysayers too much of my energy or time.
As a minister I’ve had the opportunity to work with all kinds of people. For example, in the past ten (10) years I served a congregation that was riddled with bitter naysayers. Now we’ve all had bad days, but these people rarely saw anything that was constructive or positive. They made it impossible to succeed. My response to their cynicism was the deterioration of my health, my relationships, and my general outlook on life. To be fair, even though they had a cynical view of life I still had a responsibility in how I responded to their negativity. I had let them stress effect my life critically and I knew I needed a change.
The change began when God led me to combine experience with the “Naysay Church” and the advice of my friend who later suggested to“ Refuse to listen to the naysayers.” From these two events I realized I did have a choice in how I perceived my circumstances. I also had the choice to no longer tolerate negative naysayers, and I no longer will.
Please know that I believe negative people need to be helped just the same any other type of personality. However, some persistently negative naysayers MAY NOT let anyone help them. Therefore, one must come to a point where the dust is removed from one’s feet and you move on. This is my encouragement today because we must reconsider how to best expend our energy towards people that crave our attention and our help. Too often our energies of zapped by those that drain the life out from us. This is not fair to us and it is not fair to those that would really value our support, advice, and help.
Admittedly, it may seem I’m giving up on negative people, but I’m not. Instead, I want to encourage everyone to not spend one’s time needlessly on someone that refuses to be helped. Also, I realize I still have much to learn, but what I have learned I want to reflect in the next few posts. Some of the topics will cover how to find a balance between helping a person and not letting them become a drain. I’ll also share some hard lessons from where I became bitter towards others and how God has redeemed my error. Other posts will include humor, and the realization that there is a positive in everything if one looks hard enough. I’ll also let you know why I prefer a constructive life than simply being positive.
Ultimately, I desire all people to be helped, if possible. The key phrase is, “if possible.” I’m wiling to do what I can to minister to anyone in order to help one live a more abundant life, hopefully a life abundant in Christ. Regardless of your faith the choice yours if you view your choice as real and “possible.” This is because I believe possibility is what distinguishes a hopeful person from a negative person; the choice is yours.
See you soon!