For much of this “Testing Positive” experiment, my focus has been on eradicating the negativity that creeps into my attitude and my thoughts, often under the guise of cynicism (“realism”) or (“helpful”) criticism.
I’ve come to realize that this is only half of the equation. If my life is truly to reflect Christ, it must not only be free of that which is not of Him, but also filled with that which is of Him.
In the past 19 days, I’ve been able to focus on the reasons I have to rejoice, and in the process I’ve curbed a lot of my tendencies to think and speak critically/cynically. What I haven’t done that much of is sharing that joy that I’ve been focusing on. So for the final third of this little self-challenge, my goal will be to not just be focus on and fill myself with the hope and joy that I have in Christ, but to share that joy with others. The words I say should not only make evident the joy that I have, but also lead others to focus on joy and to whittle away at the cynicism and criticism they may be preoccupying themselves with. Normally I shy away from being very expressive about joy, because it feels so cheesy and typical (maybe not by most folks estimations, but keep in mind that I just finished four years at a tiny Christian school, where people say “PTL” – an evangelical abbreviation for “praise the Lord” – without being ironic.)…I think there is a balance, though, between being positive for the sake of “being positive” and being positive because you have chosen to defy the world’s attempts to keep you captive to sorry, misery, and death. Genuine joy probably looks a little bit less like skipping down concrete sidewalks and claiming that they are gold, and more like marching head-high through the battlefield of Earth and charging towards the Kingdom.
Not that I have anything against skipping down sidewalks…but I’ll take the option where I get to use a gun.