After taking down the Christmas tree and decorations I had the thought that it’s a lot easier to tear down than to build up. I’m sure many people have used this same analogy to describe our own behavior, but it’s true. Is it not much easier to give in to our flesh and think of the pessimistic side of things? I have struggled in this area quite a bit. Is it not easier to pick out everyone else’s faults or even our own instead of building each other up? Is this not prevalent in the body of Christ? The world approaches life from the flesh, but we have been blessed with the Spirit. We don’t have to think and act the way we used to. Rather, we are commanded to do the opposite:
“8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. 16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:8-22 (NASB)
“12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” ~ Hebrews 3:12-13
Let us love and encourage one another. May our attitudes reflect Christ in our lives. It may be harder to choose to live by the Spirit rather than the flesh, but as Christians, this is the life we have chosen. This is following Christ.
Here’s a poem I wrote a little while ago about my own struggle with pessimism. I hope you find it encouraging:
Pessimism (written November 29, 2014)
That voice, I hear it
as it sneaks in insidiously,
telling me lies;
and I believe them.
A hopeful thought
I convince myself that these invading thoughts
are more realistic,
preparing me for potential failures,
not realizing that they hinder me from success.
Where is my hope?
Is it not in Christ?
Then why be fearful?
Why let the light fade?
Confidence is not the same as arrogance.
Experiencing failures provides new opportunities for growth.
Being adventurous can reveal a world unknown.
Joyfulness will not only uplift myself but others.
Positivity is a choice, my choice.
It can change a life, my life.
What will I choose?
Who will I become?