Jabbar Muhammed a motivational writer, writes "Truth be told, the brain is hardwired to be negative!" In other words, it is all too easy for the brain to concentrate on worries and fears and for gloomy thoughts to dominate. Many psychologists believe today that the brain defaults into the negative and that by and large we’re hardwired to register and remember negative events more quickly and deeply than positive ones. "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."(2nd Corinthians 2:11)
It’s so easy to be negative. Someone starts downing something or someone, so we just chime in. I assume it has something to do with fitting in with others, but it comes way too easy to us. It’s so easy to find fault. I don’t know where this one got started in us. I assume there are some petty jealousies, some fear of differences or just bored people. We can find fault with anything, any activity and unfortunately, any person. It’s so easy to be fearful and afraid. Life can be humming along and everything seems good and then just one bad report, one bad instance, or one somewhat unflattering comment and the wheels fall off. We can go from lilies in the spring field to death and destruction as easily as we breath or blink. It’s easy to do and be all these things, but God hasn’t called us to follow the easy path. God has called us to be right and right isn’t always easy, but it’s still right.
It takes work to be positive, but who wants to know about the one who saved your soul if you’re a Negative Nancy with your chin dragging the ground all the time. If you’ve really been saved, you should be a positive person. You’re not going to hell, so that ought to be reason enough to look up instead of down. It takes work to find the good in some people, but think about this. Someone is struggling with finding good in you too. If you think you’re worth the work, then be willing to put it in for someone else. The Lord saw enough good in you to die for you, so try a little harder with those around you. It takes work to not be fearful and afraid. There a lot to receive in our world, but you can always trust The Lord. There is nothing he can’t do, can’t change, and can’t handle! So go ahead and stop biting your nails and losing sleep. The Lord has it all!
All of these can become devices of the devil, so don’t be ignorant!
I am not a fighter by nature. I’ve never been involved in any physical fisticuffs situations. Thankfully, the schools that I studied at from kindergarten all the way through college were not violent institutions by any means. I could count on one hand the number of fights that I witnessed in person and I’d still have a few fingers to spare. Even in my very limited experience, however, I realize that most scuffles have a root in retaliation. Whether it is something that has or hasn’t been done, said or not said, heard or not heard, any action can be placed into the equation and have retaliation as the outcome. This is even the same for our verbal altercations or arguments that don’t cause physical harm, but internal instead. Should retaliation be our fall back reaction in these circumstances though?
How many times have we heard the scripture “eye for an eye” misconstrued in an attempt to justify someone’s lack of control? I’m not going to say that this isn’t biblical in origin because it is. The old testament has examples of it like in Exodus 21 where in context it portrays this retaliation form of justice. The plain and simple truth of the matter is though that just because it can be found in the bible doesn’t mean it is something we apply to our Christian repertoire. I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful that I do not have to prepare an animal sacrifice for my sins. Jokes aside, this form of justice was more to guide those who were interpreting Mosaic Law. It was a guideline for the courts and wasn’t meant be used by civilians in personal scuffles. The question then becomes what is the correct Christian way of handling conflict?
Matthew 5:38-48 answers that very question. We’ve heard it time and time again that when someone hurts you, the Christian thing is to turn the other cheek. If you read a bit further though, the action is no longer retaliation. It is love that is relentless. We see this posed in the questions of verses of 46 & 47 where Jesus asks “If ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?...If ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?” In modern day language that would read “If I’m only loving those that are easy to love how is that different than the sinner next door?” It’s a very easy job to only give grace to those that deserve it because the list is short (see Romans 3:10 for the full list). It’s easy to give grace to no one, but you find out where your strength comes from when you give grace to those that don’t deserve it. Conflict has the same conclusion because it’s easy to give it right back when someone is upset with you. The greatest light I can be for Christ though, is to show kindness in the face of conflict and find a way to love them through their low moment.
Relentless love wins in the end.