Joe is a good believer, who will always stand for his convictions. He is even ready to sacrifice anything to uphold what he considers as true. But nowadays he is very much depressed and finds no joy at all. Spend some time with him; we also will feel the same discontent and disturbance. His problem: no one is right! Every body is going against the principles he cherishes. He finds it very hard to adjust with those who think contrary to him.
There are many such Christians, sincere and serious they are, go through such mental agony. They only find mistakes and abnormalities in others. This kind of mind-set is not good for our health both spiritually as well as physically. Even our friends and the family members will be affected negatively by such approach to life.
Some body has observed that a Cynic is “a person who never sees a good quality in a man, and never fails to see a bad one. He is the human owl, vigilant in darkness, and blind to light, mousing for vermin, and never seeing noble game.”
People with such attitude see only error around them. Some do not find any good even in their own life. They have nothing to praise God for. The moment they open mouth it’s full of murmuring, grumble and accusation. Friends will naturally try to avoid them; it’s a terrible lonely life indeed: all because of being over - enthusiastic in faultfinding.
Consider the life of Abraham; when he began to follow the Lord, there were not a large group to guide him. His only aim was to follow the Lord at any cost; even he was willing to separate from his dear ones for that. Gen. 12ff.
Does it mean we should simply accept any wrong idea or practice of others? No, not at all. We must speak against the wrong ideology and practices and even be away from it. The Lord and the apostles strongly spoke against evil and wrong ways of men. Yet the Lord did not hesitate to appreciate the good in others. Cf. Rev 2 & 3.
Even when He wanted to transform wicked men and women He was very careful not to hurt their feelings by openly condemning them. Notice His encounter with Zacchaeus, we don’t see him exposing his wicked life before others. Zaccaeus was touched and transformed by the very presence of Christ. Luke 19. How graciously He dealt with the Samaritan woman. John 4.
Consider the attitude of Apostle Paul being exhibited through the pages of the book of Philippians. Though suffering in a Roman Jail, we do not find any complaint, regret or gloomy reaction from Paul. On the contrary notice how positively he takes his present circumstances:-
Phil. 1:12 – He considers that, things which happened to him have turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.
Phil 1:15, 17, 18 – Even he finds a good thing in the work of the enemy who purposely tried to trouble him. (Some preached the gospel to bring more trouble to him in jail, but Paul is happy that anyhow Gospel is being preached.)
Phil 2:20 – He is able to appreciate and encourage others. Cf. 2:25, 29, 30; 4:15 –19. (It’s very hard for a pessimist to value another person, for he is concentrating more on himself.)
Phil 4:12 – He is content and happy at any situation. He says, “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
Such an attitude helped Paul to see the Roman dungeon as a resting place and we do not feel that he is writing from a miserable background. Around 17 times he refers to the joy of a believer.
So, even as we keep a distance from the wrong ways of others, we need to love individuals and appreciate the good that we find in them. We must see the divine hand in allowing us to go through face various stages in life, including the difficult people we confront.
On the contrary, if we come to such a point that we are not at able to see a good shade of life; that is going to another extreme. Such pessimistic attitude does not bring any good for us or even others.
Instead of paying all our attention upon the failures of others, let us have an attitude of looking at the good things in other’s life. Remember there are so many good things around us. Even in the apparent adverse events let us see the hand of the Almighty who does not make any mistake in His purposes for His children.
Similarly, not at are alike us, each one is different and let them have their view point. See the good qualities of one another and help each one to attain the best in their life. By judging, criticizing and accusing we are not going to gain others. We too are not benefited much from such a way of life.
Again turn to Philippians and see what made Apostle Paul to see life in a positive perspective. Three things are noteworthy:-
1. He trusted the Lord who controls every event in His life. Phil. 1:12, 19, 20. He knew that any circumstances can be ‘turned out’ for good. Cf. Rom 8: 28.
2. He controlled his thoughts. Phil 4: 8, 9. We can fully believe that writer exhorts readers from experience. Our thoughts control our life. Paul thought on noble, just and pure things.
3. He found his life and strength in Christ. Phil 4: 13 cf. 1: 21. He acknowledged that each moment he lives for Christ, by His life and energy. He had no self-interest, self-motive or hidden agendas in life.
Not only Paul we have few other examples too. Asaph who was troubled in heart by focussing on the rich life of the wicked, realized his folly when he came to the presence of God. Ps. 73. We see Habakkuk being troubled over the evil around him. Later he too comes before the Lord and singing, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines…the fields yield no food…..Yet I will rejoice in the Lord.” Hab. 3: 17, 18.
Let us stop focussing on other’s faults or the unpleasant condition we may see around. Look to the Lord and wait for His divine hands. Even in the midst of darkest cloud let us see the silver lines and be happy about it. Trust the Lord who is the Master over our entire life and yield to Him. Cultivate a positive attitude to every facet of life. That will be helpful to us and even to all those who come across our brief life.