I read her words and they stung. But why?
“Don’t waste your time on negative people, but stay focused on being positive.”
Why did that sting?
I just wrote about this very thing in my own words, right HERE. So why the weird rub, Meghan?
The above was good advice wasn’t it?
But didn’t Jesus spend time on or with negative people? Was He not breaking bread with men who complained and competed against one another at times? Did He not “do life” with these types?
Or did I have it all wrong?
I think in my heart of hearts I already knew why I felt a knife in my chest when the above words met my eyes.
Because recently I had been hurting.
I had been feeling like the negative one.
And I would very much want Jesus to help me, to love me, not leave me alone because he was already so together, why bother with me?
He did bother with me. But I wasn’t a bother to Him. He saw it differently. He cared to come from His perfect Kingdom to a broken world to save you and I. Out of love.
I felt as if her words were directed at me. But they weren’t. She didn’t even know me.
God always has a gentle way of showing me when my heart needs healing. When my heart needs surrendering. Re-surrendering I should say. Because it’s a choice everyday.
My immediate thought when read her words were, “But what if that negative person is just crying out for help and they don’t know how to communicate that?”
Because that person was me that day, that week (probably unknowingly, much longer).
I feel like God has given me a heart for broken-hearted, lost and lonely people because though I am surrounded by kids and have been married for almost 13 years, I have experienced these things.
Somewhere in life, we all have.
The person that wrote those words might have been coming from a place of trying to overcome their own issues and knew there were times when a person had to intentionally surround themselves with as much positivity as possible, in order to work through things without negative feedback dragging one down.
I get that. I do. I have had to do that same thing before.
Make intentional choices in especially hard seasons, that cut out some of the yuck so I could focus.
There are also those out there who seem negative all the time and we would just rather stay away. It seems like no matter what we say or do, they always squash the smile, retort with sarcasm, or dash our hopes and dreams verbally or by way of eyebrow-raising or face-snarling.
I understand. I have those people in my life too. And I am sure I done those things even if unintentionally to others at times too, though I am not proud of it and repented.
I am writing this today because though I understand we may not want to buddy up with those who live this way on a regular basis, without care or regard to their harmful repetitive behavior-I want to say – we can’t forget them. We can’t discount them.
The negative person is not a hopeless case and we can’t put ourselves above them mentally and in heart.
Usually the tough ones are hurting the most, even if they don’t know it yet. They are battling something too. Maybe they think their hard shell will protect them from others seeing what is really there…
I have seen this is in my own life with people I know. I have experienced this myself. Sometimes we just need a patient and understanding, compassionate and loving person to just listen, or just be there.
To not judge us, to not try to fix us -but to just be.
And through that, God moves. He speaks without words too.
He speaks through you, through your presence as a friend, as a comrade – because He LIVES in you brother & sister.
I pray the body of Christ will start to see negative, hurting, and different-than-us-people through a new lens.
That they are not people who we should be scared of, intimidated by, constantly at odds with, shy away from, or talk down about.
I pray we can start to see God’s mercy and help as bigger than the toughest issue or personal problem that could ever surface.
I desire to see through a God-given lens of compassion and heartfelt love, the unconditional kind in which I love and pray with sincerity, without expecting to receive something from the hurting or even hateful one -but can focus on giving love in some form.
If you haven’t and would like to, check out my blog post titled, “What Difficult People Reveal.” It sort of goes along with this but was written a few months ago with a perspective of heart changes God wants to do in US through the negative we face.
You may feel like sharing one simple meal when you aren’t even sure you have enough to go around is a very big deal to God, but there may be a person out there who just needs to know someone cares about them right in the middle of their mess. It is ministry. It is what Jesus did. Trust that He will take what you offer and multiply it.
Thanks for stopping by today and hearing my heart. God is always peeling back layers, one small step at a time.