Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Philippians 2:14 Challenge

Yesterday on Facebook my bloggy friend Amber laid out a challenge. It was a challenge for herself and she thought she would encourage the rest of us in her Facebook circle to join in. If you read my previous post, you will realize why this spoke to me, and I have chosen to run with it.

Her challenge was for just one day, a mere 24 hours, to live out the scripture of Philippians 2:14 which states, "Do everything without complaining or arguing." For the sake of encouragement, I have included verse 15 in my challenge as the voice of inspiration, it goes on to say, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe...

What a great encouragement to be a light in the dark world, by simply choosing not to complain and argue. I wish it were a simple task, as the mom of three, I know how difficult it can be, but it is possible. I got my whole family on board to try to rise to this challenge. It's early still and I am already seeing benefits. My kids hopped right on board this morning. My son Ethan took his scripture to school with him and the principal even had him read it in front of the entire school. It is a good word!

I challenge you, join us! Maybe it's already a little late, the complaining and arguing have already come, but start now, 24 hours. Maybe it's even a different day by the time you read this... do it anyway. And PLEASE, come back, tell me about it! I think this is the next step in the Power of Positivity that the Lord has been speaking to me on!

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe..
Philippians 2:14-15

Stay tuned...

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Power of Positivity

Have you ever been having a really good day, or even just a half way decent one, and someone can come in and squash it with a bad attitude or hostility? I've been having a lot of those days lately, quite repeatedly actually, and it kind of stinks... except not kind of.

It's really sad when particular people in your life are like that all the time. Sad, is a small word that doesn't truly encompass all that it is, but it's also a safe word that gives some semblance of the point. The really lousy thing is, no matter how positive a person you may be, or may try to be, or choose to be, when you face negativity like that unrelentingly, it's hard to stay up. It is always easier to pull or even tear someone down than it is to lift someone up, its just the plain old law of gravity, in a figurative sense.

Yet somehow, the Lord says quite the opposite is more than possible, it is dare I say, commanded? Ephesians 4:29 says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Wow, we have the power to build people up... and all it takes is our words! I have often expounded on my love for words. I think I started this very blog with a first post about the power of them, but it is a truth worth being reminded of. It was because of the encouraging words of others that I even started writing here.

Why do people, including me at times choose to use words to tear down and belittle? Why do we choose to use them to humiliate or discourage? How would the world be a different place if that alone was changed. I know my world would be different, I wouldn't want to hide my head under the pillow and go back to sleep most days.

I don't know, I guess I'm really just rambling, but "words of encouragement" are my love language, so perhaps I take it in deeper when they are harsh or hurtful, but I can't imagine that they don't chip away at every heart when misused towards one of God's precious people. And in this regard I'm not speaking solely of believers, but of every precious person created in the image of God. If you're not sure if that's you, I assure you it is.

I love being around positive people, people who laugh and smile. I hope I am a positive person. The scripture above is one of the first ones I ever memorized, and not by choice, the Lord led me there because of my history. Before I was a Christian I was brutal with words. I could bring a grown man to tears, and had with vicious hurling words. I still at times in great anger have the strength rising up in my flesh, but it isn't a good strength, it isn't a godly strength.

I want to be surrounded with positive people, and I am certain being a positive person increases the odds. I know it's good for your complexion, the Bible says so!

A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance,
But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Proverbs 15:13

I sincerely wish positivity were like an antidote for the negativity, but it isn't. Just as we can choose to be positive, some people will continue to choose to be negative, no matter how hard we try to combat it. On the other hand, should we use that as an excuse to just let the negativity overwhelm us? I can't see any benefit in that. I'm feeling inspired to study further on this power of positive words.

Stay tuned!