Practical Application of the Word of God
In what seems to be sincere ignorance and a complete lack of understanding, there are many Christians who constantly eschew and condemn anything that and anyone who isn’t unrealistically optimistic, always upbeat, and full of unicorns, lollipops, and rainbows – in other words, the pragmatists and the realists among their brothers and sisters – as negative.
I discussed an aspect of this in “Talebearing, Gossip, Criticism, and Condemnation in the 21st Century,” but I want to look at this label of being negative that is too often thrown at those of us among the body of Christ who see this physical life – including our own – as it is and don’t sugarcoat the ups and downs, the wins and the losses, and the good and the evil we see in ourselves and around us in this journey toward the kingdom of God.
It’s difficult for those of us who are pragmatists (we hope and believe in the promises of God being fulfilled, but we see reality for what it is now and know it’s not going to change for the better, but only get worse until God does intervene) and realists (this is life: the good, the bad, the ugly, the evil, and to deny it and pretend it doesn’t exist is not only foolish, but delusional and dangerous, because we can’t fight and overcome what we refuse to see and acknowledge).
I often wonder if these Christians who constantly reject things and people as negative have ever really studied the Bible?
Have they read Isaiah? Ezekiel? How about Jeremiah? The Psalms? The book of Job? Or any other book there?
If we are looking for something to label as being negative, these examples from the word of God certainly would be top contenders. Or would they?
The answer is obviously “no.” So if we’re not going to label these people and situations as being negative, then why would we label our brothers and sisters in the faith as negative when they express some of the same thoughts and prayers when they see the world as it is and are going through long and intense trials, most of which we don’t even know about?
It doesn’t to me that we would unless we’re not spending quality time in the word of God and learning to care, to empathize, to be kind, to be gentle, to be encouraging, even if we can’t necessarily relate footstep for footstep to what our brothers and sisters are going through.
This kind of ignorance, labeling, and condemnation suggests that we are taking on the attributes of Satan (how many times has he labeled us as being negative to God?) and the world around us.
It also suggests that we’re spending our time reading or listening to unicorns-lollipops-and-rainbow things that claim to be related to God’s word (they are not if they’re all prettied up in nice little neat bows) that belie the depth of the full human experience and range of emotions, reactions, understanding, and knowledge that is there.
And here’s the bottom line. If we aren’t growing in these attributes now – which are the fruit of God’s spirit – then how are we going to be able to help and serve people in the millennium and the second resurrection?
Are we really going to be slamming them all at every turn with a self-righteous huff and a nasty and dismissive “get over it and quit being so negative?”
If that’s what we think – and how we think – we won’t be there. It’s that simple.
Now think deeply about this.
What if every time you went in prayer to God, our Dad, overwhelmed, distraught, sad, scared, and in tears even, and you poured out the depths of your heart to Him and His response was “I’m not even going to listen to you until you quit being so negative?”
We know that is not how God relates to us as His children. We know that’s not how Jesus Christ relates to us as His younger siblings.
So why would we related to each other as brothers and sisters that way?
It’s time to put away ignorance. It’s time to grow up spiritually. And it’s time to put on the nature of God and Christ and put off the nature that comes to us naturally.