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Cancer in the Church Continued...

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I have been thinking more and more about my post yesterday and I know most of you know this but the dangers of negative talk and complaining are so damaging to every aspect of life – not just the church.

Negativism and complaining destroys a marriage.  So many couples, after just a short time together, start to focus on all the negative things – the little things that they don’t like about their spouse.  Maybe he leaves his underwear on the floor – or she bites her toenails – it’s easy to find the negative when you are trying.  That’s when you forget what brought you together in the first place.

Negativism and complaining destroys communities - relationships – families - companies – sports teams – and even entire nations.     

Maybe that is why we are told in scripture to “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4)  If you are rejoicing – you aren’t complaining!  Stop and think about the people in your life who are positive.  More than likely they really stand out to you.  And unfortunately, they may be few and far between.

This is a good reminder for me today – especially as I face some extremely difficult times in our church, community, and world.  And, as we approach the holiday season which always seems to magnify our feelings.

That passage in Philippians goes on to tell us, “Do not be anxious about anything” (vs. 6).  I admit – that is HARD!  God is working on me in this area.  I want to trust Him, I deeply desire to care more about others than myself – but the truth is it is so dang easy to care about “Joe.”  

I was reading this morning from Francis Chan’s book “Crazy Love” (3rd time) and was reminded of this when he said, “When I am consumed by my problems – stressed out about my life, my family, and my job- I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God’s command to always rejoice.” (Pg 41) 

Ouch. 

So, today – I choose to rejoice – to be thankful.  

I'm thankful for my Lord and His love for me.  I'm thankful for my wife and daughters.  And so much more!

What are you thankful for today?  Let me know.

3 comments:

Laura said...

I'm thankful for pastors and friends who are not afraid to tell it like it is. Truth - even in hard times!!!

Greg B. said...

I too am thankful for the family God has blessed me with; friends too!

I am thankful for the roof over our heads, the heat we sometimes take for granted, the vehicle I am able to drive to get our needs, the food we are blessed with, our armed forces who defend us daily, and most of all I am thankful for a loving, merciful God that sent His Son to take the sins of mankind upon Himself so that we can be in His company for eternity to worship and adore Him.

Anonymous said...

Joe,
I love reading your blog and Julie's blog. Know that I pray for you, Julie and the girls on a regular basis.

Having brothers in the ministry has given me an up close and personal view of how negativity can tear down a pastor. I have also seen them grow through it all and become closer to God in the process. I know God is using you to fulfill his plan for the church!

Hang in there!