Saturday, September 29, 2012

Positively Skeptical

Let me just say this straight out of the gates-I'm NOT about being a negative, miserable, complainer who sees the glass as half empty.  Whew!  Just didn't want to scare you off.

But I am pretty skeptical of this new phenomenon that everyone keeps prescribing Ryan and I.  It goes like this:

Step 1:  Be positive!
Step 2:  Think positive thoughts!
Step 3:  Stay positive no matter what happens!
Step 4:  Repeat steps 1-3

If I'm honest with all you good people, I have to say I think this is a whole load of bologna.


Because every child in Africa would have solved world hunger by now.  The cancer patients of the world would have disintegrated the disease wracking their bodies.  The barren mothers would all have 19 Kids and Counting.  Anyone about to lose their job, would have miraculously saved it.  All hardship, all suffering, all sickness--would be a thing of the past and everyone would just be a positive, sunshiney hotcake of butterflies.

Hey homeless, starving man in India...just be positive!

But that isn't the case is it?

As Ryan has suffered physically the last 7 months, more often than not, people confidently just tell him to "stay positive".  Really?  What will that even do?  Heal him?  Stop the Crohn's progression?  Enhance his doctor's abilities?  Keep him from getting sick again?

Husband the REAL truth is...all you need is Jesus!  Nothing else.

I just don't buy it.  And I think this positive thinking philosophy is totally opposite of what Jesus was all about.

When hard circumstances or a difficult life situation come our way what did Jesus wisely instruct?  Check it...

[Hint: it wasn't relying on your own positive willpower and thoughts]

Jesus' motto:  Come to Him
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
John 6:37 

Jesus' motto: Trust in the Lord, not in your own abilities
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 
Proverbs 3:5-6

Jesus' motto:  Cling to the truth of the Bible
...Hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
Titus 1:9

Jesus' motto:  Boast in what is difficult
Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them.
James 1:9

Jesus' motto:  Don't waste this season.  God is using it make you more like Himself
I have refined you, but not as silver is refined.
    Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.
Isaiah 48:10

Jesus' motto:  Be joyful (didn't use the word 'happy'), unceasingly prayerful, and thankful in EVERYTHING!
Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Jesus motto:  You want truth, life, hope?  It's in Jesus.  Not in yourself or your thoughts
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
John 14:6

Am I convincing anyone else that this positive thinking thing might just be sham for self-reliance and an excuse to avoid what God calls us to?  Because the way Jesus instructs us is more difficult, opposite of what seems natural, and puts in a state of totally relying on Him.  Jesus is still about joy, thankfulness, and a right perspective.  I just never hear him say anything like, "Forget the Bible and what I think...just be positive y'all!"

I know I wouldn't want to rely on myself for much of anything--I'm a big hot mess and not much in the ways of healing, help, or comfort .  I think I'll choose to rely on God.

The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of  soul and spirit, of joints and marrow and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12


  1. Very good post! We do need to keep positive in the sense of focusing on Jesus. Letting Jesus renew our minds and thinking. I have learned in rough seasons, people have no clue what to say so they just say what sounds good! I do know that if you think negatively, not only will you loose the victory but your physical body responds negatively. So while we cant just think "positive", we need to think about who is "positive", WHo does have hope, healing and true joy for our souls. We can't just "think" happy thoughts and expect change. But your quoting of scriptures is definitely a "positive" way of dealing the all the worlds negatives! I really liked this post! :D

    1. Thank you Vee. You're right--any joy, cheerfulness, or renewing of our minds should be from the source of Christ. Happy thoughts that are meant to "ignore" or mask the hard situation are meaningless!

  2. Love this (might be my favorite post so far) and couldn't agree more!

  3. Carly - I couldn't agree more. What a terrific post...keep them coming! My husband is an inner city Pastor here in Denver - Jesus is the only answer. We need to learn dependence in our hardships; obedience. This is not our home...or the goal. You are learning graduate school lessons in faith.

    1. Laura thanks for the encouragement! Learning to rely on Jesus isn't for the faint of heart. It's much harder (and more reliable) than any direction you believe you can send your thoughts. Glad you're here!



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