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Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. Philippians 2:14-15

 Saturday Night Live introduced us to a person named Debbie Downer. Debbie had a knack for making any situation dark. While the rest of the crowd was celebrating Debbie would douse the positive feelings with statements that drained the joy from everyone within earshot. In her world nothing was right.

While Debbie is a fictional character, we all know people like her who seem to be able to find something negative to say about anyone and anything. They point out the faults of everything from dress and hairstyles to political opinion. We are surrounded by a culture that seems obsessed by finding the negative in things.

Negative reactions are like one drop of black ink in a gallon of clear water. They can turn an otherwise joyful or good day bad. One negative comment, whether intentional or not, can destroy an entire day, or even a relationship.

Negative reactions imply, intentionally or otherwise, that God isn’t ‘doing His job’. If we truly believe that God is sovereign, and that He loves us then our attitude should show all those around us that He is a good God who can be trusted in the worst of circumstances.

King David states, in Psalm 139 that God has ordained or planned every one of our days from the time of conception until the time of our death. He is involved in every second of our existence. Our Father doesn’t ‘make bad things happen’ randomly to annoy us. He doesn’t bring ornery and mean people into our lives because He is vindictive and enjoys seeing us suffer.

We can say we love Jesus and our desire is to show the world His love but how does that play out when we are cut off in traffic? How do we show Jesus’ love when the server at the restraint gives us lousy service and doesn’t seem to care? How is ‘Grace’ shown when a co-worker accuses us or leaves us a bunch of work because they ‘weren’t doing their job.’?

Paul tells us that as Christ-followers we can make a huge statement by how we react to adversity. Adversity is inevitable. Finances, health issues, natural disasters, politics can seem to stack up against us. People are mean, selfish and demanding. All sorts of things can keep us in ‘Debbie Downer’ mode.

Paul’s words encourage us as Christ-followers to shine as lights of positive thinking in a world of ‘Debbie Downers’. As Christ-followers we don’t deny the fact that adversity exists. We don’t downplay the pain of physical, natural or relational disaster. But we do maintain a thought process that tells the world that in spite of the bad things happening around us we are encouraged because we know there are better days ahead because of Jesus’ love for us.

A proper view of God’s love defeats negative thinking every time. Negative thinking says, “While I believe in God, He’s proven to me that He is either unable to help in time of need or my needs are too small to be important to Him.”

Positive thinking doesn’t say: “Because I believe in God everything will be good and happy, Positive thinking says: “My faith in God will enable me to weather every storm that attacks me because I know that He is love and He will care for me regardless of what happens.

PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you today realizing that all too often I find myself either in ‘Debbie Downer’ mode or surrounded by others who are. I ask that you would empower me by Your Holy Spirit to live about the negative influences in my life. Help me to be a light shining in the darkness. A light that shows the positive aspects of Christ’s love living through me. Amen.

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