John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!” He was a natural motivator.
If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?”
He replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life! I choose the positive side of life.”
“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested.
“Yes, it is,” he said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live your life.”
I reflected on what he said. Soon thereafter, I left the company we worked at to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.
Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.
I happened to run into him about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?”
I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.
“The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,” he replied. “Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”
“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked.
He continued, “..the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘he’s a dead man.’ I knew I needed to take action.”
“What did you do?” I asked.
“Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said John. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Gravity!'”
Over their laughter, I told them, “I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”
He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
DISCERNING THE “FEEL GOOD” CHURCH
William Andrew Dillard
Most of “Christianity” including many Baptist churches have abandoned anything considered to be negative under the guise that people like to go to church where they are made to feel good. To be sure, true Christianity is essentially a positive religion, but it can be positive only because the negatives exist. Furthermore, if the negatives and positives are not kept in proper order eternal disaster will occur.
First there is a problem. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. Sin is filthy, abominable, and condemned by the righteous, Creator God. If one is rocked to sleep in a positive evaluation of life while in sin, hell will be his eventual home. Oh, I forgot, that is also negative. Still, if all men are condemned by sin as the Bible affirms, then something must be done to correct that state. It is for this purpose that the Son of God both came into the world, was crucified, and arose from the dead. Romans 6:23, 5:8. It is the shed blood of Christ Jesus alone that is purgatory of sin. The crying need of the human family is to recognize this, and thus be saved (not from hell, but from their sins that will send them there). But no one is ever saved who does not first realize he is lost. Realizing one is lost is not a good feeling, but it is that realization that brings one to the foot of the cross in repentance and faith, and that is a very good feeling.
Once saved, one has the blessed privilege of following the Lord in the watery grave of baptism, and subsequent fellowship in one of His local churches. Then, and only then will one’s viewpoint of the church be changed from negative and condemnatory to positive and happy, understanding righteous things of time and eternity. It is then that it becomes the bona fide “feel good” church that is pleasing in God’s sight. So, it is really not the church. The church is only the messenger. The message must be God’s message. The effects of that message will bring conviction or elation according to one’s personal relationship with the Lord. God forbid that the message should ever change to please sinful men in their sinful state. When that happens, the church is good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot as savorless salt.
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