Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Positive Life: What Does It Really Entail?

Anything has a positive side; everything in life has a lesson to learn; nothing in life is harsh enough to knock one down. I am a generally positive person. If you run the race with me, I will usually find something positive to say, even in the bleakest of circumstances. Not only does it often provide comic relief for those not so gifted in ignoring the negative, but it really serves to put my heart in the place it belongs. Not only does the sudden shock of my statement somehow quiet their rambling fears and negativity, but it reminds me of Who I love. Not only does the glass half-full imply that it will be filled up even more in the future, but it opens my eyes to see how much others are missing by thinking their glass needs to be filled more. Not only does it allow me to move forward, but it pulls me back in order to help those who stall in moving forward.

This is where dog number one loves electric fences. The squirrel on the other side of that fence is worth it all, simply because the simple pain will only become laugher in the future. The horror of the moment always denotes a positive and a joy in the end. Dog number two simply looks on the world; that electric fence is so painful and not worth its time. It puts a fear in it that no positive object, not even a squirrel, can entice it to bound beyond that half empty line in its water glass. How dangerous and trapping such a perspective serves to us humans.

Often times, we do not take the differences between a positive outlook and a negative outlook far enough. Positive outlooks have a seemingly uncharacteristic ability to shove people forward, to eliminate the fear, and to allow for the development and honing of one's character. Negativity, on the other hand, seems to be an invisible rope in people's lives; they cannot go beyond it, and they do not dare try.

Did you know that a negative person lives, on average, a shorter life span than those that are positive? Did you know that a negative person, on average, remembers less memories than those that are positive? Did you know that a negative person's heart, on average, endures more pressure and irregularity than those that are positive? Did you know that a negative person affects those around them and decreases their peers' life spans? Given such facts, does it not seem that we are biologically wired to be positive people?

Granted, I am not talking about an outlook so positive that we fail to recognize dangers and to weigh the wisdom of our decisions. But, I think that negativity often clouds our judgement and prevents us from becoming all that God has called us to be. It incites worrisomeness, destroys our focus, hazes our perception of God's goodness, strains our relationships with others, pushes us to become unhealthy, and overall, represents an open door to dangers untold. The devil relies on negativity. If you were never negative about any event, how could the devil bring you into depression? How could the devil entice you to lie if you always viewed every situation with a positive outcome? It is not true that our flesh by nature may just be negative?

Even the Bible seems to steer us in the direction of being positive about anything in our lives. Proverbs contains numerous verses warning wives not to be naggers. The New Testament is full of the apostles enduring suffering and yet always being so glad to endure it. Even the wording of the Scripture itself always looks to the positive side of obeying and following His commandments. Our lives, when lived according to the Bible, are always planned out and all is endured for our good and His glory! Is that not a positive truth within itself?

Thus, when I come across situations where I feel pulled in a direction to look at the ugly side of it all, I often sit there and go, "You know, Lord, this is the closest I will ever get to Hell. And if Hell is horrible, and Heaven is amazing, cannot even a part of this be amazing as well? Please help me to see the amazing side."


  1. That was great! The contrast between optimism and pessimism is one that I really enjoy observing. Thanks for another great post!

  2. So true, dear Sis. Oftentimes I look on the dark side of situations instead of looking on the bright side. I pray that the Lord might allow me to see His beauty and glory in even the bleakest of situations. We seem to make bad situations even worse because of the negative blinders that cloud our vision. May we look through the Lord's eyes in order to see people and situations in the way He does.