Tag Archives: negativity

Complainers are louder than complimenters

Complainers

Ignore the barking dogs.

I had a funeral — without dying. It was a good experience.

When I had to leave Guatemala, all the church members gushed about my good qualities. My defects, which previously had dominated evaluations, got forgotten. Now I know what it’s like to die.

Critics in the church

Where flowers grow, weeds want to go.

This is the Yelp predicament. A disgruntled customer is highly motivated to post a comment. A satisfied one, not at all. Businesses have been sunk by this psychological phenomenon.

If you are given to criticizing others in the church, realize that:

  • criticism is not a calling, not a charge, not a gifting from God. It lines up more with what the accuser of the brethren (Satan) does.
  • you excuse and justify your own faults.
  • you blow out of proportion your own merits.
  • you probably are unaware of all kinds of services and sacrifices made by the very person you’re criticizing.
  • the effects of your criticism will not advance the kingdom of God.
  • an ounce of compliment would do more good than a ton of criticism.
  • your criticism is probably motivated by envy and jealousy.
outreach San Diego

On outreach in San Diego, at one house they gave me bread. It was a nice little way for God to say, “Well done.”

If you take a lot of criticism, realize that:

  • Satan’s strategy is get you to stop your labors.
  • people throw stones at a tree with fruit (Spanish expression — to knock down fruit to eat, they throw stones. If the fruit tree is barren, no one throws stones at it.)
  • compliments mostly go unvoiced.
  • your life and ministry is in the hands of God, not of your critics.

Get into the habit of faith

To form a new habit, willpower is more important than self-esteem. In his book Willpower, Roy Baumeister demonstrates that willpower is key to success in college, success in life, longevity and health. The possessor adheres to an unshakeable determination to achieve his goals.

If you’re accustomed to a dreary day of negativity, make some practical changes: Introduce or lengthen prayer time. Sprinkle your day with the Word of God. Arrest negative thoughts and force yourself to assume the best. Audibly confess the opposite of what gets you down. Continually go up to sit on God’s lap and tell your loving Father your struggles.

It’s amazing that willpower is akin to faith. They’re overlapping circle graphs with a significant shared region. This is the overcoming spirit of which the Bible speaks.

Is it possible to go from pessimism to belief? I am one who emigrated from the country of unbelief and unhealthy depression. I journeyed to the land of faith. Transforming my outlook has transformed my life. So I encourage you to get off your “but” and become a person of faith.