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Sunday, October 23, 2005

I'm all for it

I had breakfast with a new friend recently. He told me he was sick and tired of Christians saying what they were “against.” He really wanted to hear Christians spending time talking about what they are “for.”

(Now, before all you witty people email me and tell me that the irony in the above statement is that he was actually saying he is “against” something himself, let me acknowledge the irony for you. Get past it now because he had some great things to say)

I understand where he is coming from. We spend a lot of time pointing the finger, don’t we?

So, I thought I would try an experiment. I dare you to try it. The experiment: Only talk about things you are “for” for an entire day. I tried. I did it for a day but, I had to work at it. I will admit it. It was a chore. I didn’t tell anyone about the experiment when I did it.

When someone complained to me about another person, I responded by talking about all the wonderful things I love about the person being lambasted. I even said to one lady in particular (who was in the process of ribbing someone in the church), “you know what I hate about so-and-so? I hate that they are always talking behind someone’s back.” She stopped.

I am not a cynic. I am not a depressing person. I am “for” half-full glasses. I think I am pretty grace-filled. But, I did notice how often I talk about what isn’t right and what needs to change (as opposed to the wonderful things happening all around us and what we need to do to get on board).

I stopped blogging for weeks.

It wasn’t that I had nothing to say. I have been trying to figure this thing out about standing “for” something. Even when I stand “for” something, it is usually juxtaposed to something I am against—even if I don’t mention it. Usually.

Not always. Take vegetables for example. I am for vegetables. In general, I am for them. They are good for you. Wait a minute. That means something is bad for me. Vegetables are better than something. Unless you are in the first two weeks of the Atkins diet. Then, meat is better than vegetables. I am for the Atkins diet. Guess that means I am against me being sloppy and overweight. Dang. This is hard.

Of course, I’m having fun.

I did learn a lesson from my friend. There are many ways to communicate what we don’t believe is healthy. And, it is sometimes necessary to communicate those things. But, there are different places to start discussing concerns. The place we start will determine the whole tenor of the conversation and may determine if people want to listen or not.

2 comments:

Rich Kirkpatrick said...

John,

Amen. Dittos. There are too many negative messages out there--not that I am complaining or anything!

I just started blogging, check my thing out..

http://www.richkirkpatrick.com

Rich

Mike Lee said...

Good stuff, bro.

I like to do this at work. There is one particular guy everybody likes to slice and dice in order to decorate their own gold-laden self-esteem platter...especially when he's not in the room. It's pretty amazing when you talk about the unpopular (sounds like middle school, doesn't it?) guy's positives how the talkers either (1)shut up or (2)get more defensive and adamant about their negative position! Either way, it sends a message.

It is difficult at first, but it's nice standing up for right rather than sitting with the wrong. Aaron Tippin once sang, "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything."

Peaze out!