Wednesday Word 2.08.2017

Philippians 4:8-9 New International Version 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

“You’ve got to accentuate the positive,

  Eliminate the negative,

  Latch on to the affirmative and

  Don’t mess with Mr. In-Between…”

©1944 Harwin Music Co.

Mercer & Arlen put this concept into song in 1944 when the world needed to be positive. These are wonderful instructions for any era.  What a simple idea.  Putting it into practice may not always be so easy.

We are bombarded by the negative every day.  Round the clock newscasts, no holds barred social media and public pronouncements hound us.  Entertainment is often violent and disturbing.  With a steady diet of the negative, we grow desensitized and accustomed to the kinds of attitudes and behaviors that depress the human spirit.

I think I understand what Paul is trying to impress upon us.  On any given day, I have a certain limited amount of energy.  If I allow all the negative, hurtful, deceitful, abusive, vindictive ugliness in the world to sap my strength, I will have nothing left.  If my focus is on the distressing, I will be distressed.

We cannot control the universe.  We can’t even control those in our immediate circle.  All we can do is control our own behavior and make our own choices.  If I spend my time dwelling on the positive, uplifting aspects of this world and the next, I am bound to be uplifted.  Only I can choose how I spend my limited energy.  For me, that is what Paul means when he says that the “God of peace” will be with me.  I will see God as I seek out the beauty and the tenderness and the compassion around me.  I will feel him with me as I strive to put his teachings into practice. I will feel his peace within me as I learn more and more to whom I belong.  Peace.  What a wonderful gift!…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ,