Making A Difference

Life under the sun has it’s bumps and bruises. Some are self-induced; others may come from the hand of another. Some may be deserved but many will be undeserved. I must admit that most of the bumps and bruises I have experienced have been due to my own ineptitude or simply weakness. My own bad choices have brought me more disappointment than the behavior of others.

When we experience those disadvantages, all we seem to see is the dark side. A few years ago, my disposition was such that if anything went wrong, I was to blame. If anything went right, others were the reason. After a lot of internal thoughtfulness, and a lot of help from others, I began to see that my perspective was the problem. I do not have the power to make everything dark. Others do not have the talent to cause everything to be right. None of us have that much influence. It was my perspective that caused me to see the dark and fail to see the good. 

How we see our world causes us to see everything around us in a positive way or a negative way. We can choose to see God all around us and produce a positive outlook on life and people. But we also have the freedom to see things in a negative outlook and only see the bad in this world and other people. Have you ever been around someone who is negative all the time? Nothing ever seems to go their way. They never see a positive thing in their life. And, if you point it out, they excuse it away. That is a sad way to live. A harmful way to live, too. Life is not and never will be perfect. We will face challenges, but how we see those challenges make all the difference. If we see them as opportunities for growth and exercise of faith, we will thrive through the challenge.

We are talking about a kind of mindset.  Have you ever heard someone say, “I just need to be more negative so I can get better.” No, we hear, “I need to be more positive and have a better frame of mind so I can get better.” Our mindset makes all the difference. Could that be why it is important to set our mind on things above? Could that be why it is necessary to look for a city whose builder and maker is God? Perhaps counting our spiritual blessings would help us see life in a better light too.

One place we can have as a more positive environment is our homes. Relationships are the foundation of our lives. Our homes shape our attitudes and outlook on life. For example, couples who have had more positive interactions at a ratio of 3 positive to 1 negative are more likely to stay married. Couples who complement, support, praise, and encourage each other are happier together. Positive communication enhances and strengthens relationships. Now, if that is true of our marriages, shouldn’t it also be true of our parenting?
At a time when we are being bombarded with pessimism, fear, and negativity, now is a great opportunity for us to be an encouraging influence in order to make a great difference.

Rickie Jenkins