Years ago, before my Man was officially my Man, he had a groupee. She was cute, perky and dumber than a stick but she played the victim perfectly, which infuriated me. Girls, you can relate, right? My Man is a protector; his natural inclination is to protect everyone but especially women. He’s marvelous in that way, but this time he didn’t get it. The groupee was playing him and he was falling for it. Men can be so dim-witted at times.
The groupee was over at his apartment. I was there too, protecting my claim. The groupee starts complaining about the classless men who were catcalling and whistling at her as she walked by. I looked at her and said, “Honey, you can’t wear a short skirt and then get mad when the boys whistle.”
Okay, I lied, I didn’t say Honey.
It’s true, though and people do it all the time. We want attention, but then we don’t want it. We say one thing and then when we get it, we complain. As Christians, sometimes we focus on the negative and wonder why the church is full of skepticism and offense. It works great for evangelism. I mean, who isn’t attracted to backbiting and complaints?
The unofficial motto of the church I attend is, ‘church for people who don’t like church’. I understand what is meant by the statement but it’s not much of a stretch of the mind to think about what we end up with -people who don’t like church. Most disgruntled people like to share their negativity with others, so now we have a lot of vocal negativity directed at leadership and each other.
I’ve been guilty of it myself and I’ve had to repent. I asked God for grace and mercy for my leaders and I asked God to move through them, not around or in spite of them. I want to see change but I want the change to be sustained by leadership, otherwise it will probably fizzle and die.
What is the solution to negativity and changing our perspective? The Bible tells us to focus on things that are positive.
Philippians 4:8, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Scripture later says to think on things above, that is – get a heavenly perspective. Heaven’s perspective is that God’s plans are not thwarted. Heaven’s perspective is that God’s Word does not return void. Heaven’s perspective is that ‘It is finished.’ The victory is won; praise is the appropriate response, not complaint.
How about you – where do you see need for re-evaluation of your expectations and thought patterns?