I was having a blue day yesterday. Maybe not dark blue, but not the sunny sky blue that lights up the sky and feels like summer. It was more like the gray blue that’s tinged with sadness and muted joy. It’s not unusual to make the rounds multiple times in a week visiting gas station, grocery, other stores, church, workplace, restaurants and other places where people meet and greet. It’s not unusual to hear complaints or see people in subtle conflict. You know that last straw; that last nerve; that hair-thin filament …well it broke. I stopped letting all those situations rent temporary space in my head and I started to own those feelings projected by others until my own attitude was affected. Stop! Just stop it! I don’t own those issues nor do I want to own them. Proverbs 17:9 says “Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” All those episodes had nothing to do with my close friends, but some of the conflict was between friends, especially co-workers. What if instead of griping about a situation, and gossiping about someone who isn’t there to defend themselves, that displaced energy was used to actually solve a problem? Love covers over an offense. I’d rather own an attitude of love. Proverbs 10:12 makes that same statement, but with a little more audacity. “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.”
I was lamenting to Tim (my husband for those who don’t know me) that I was buried in such negativity everywhere I went. It seems that there is unrest everywhere and petty grievances turn into little earthquakes that erupt in dissension. My positive attitude was getting a little tarnished. Sad. Then I read a Facebook post by a friend of mine, Bryce Roth who helped two complete strangers at a store where he was simply customer but is also a young man with a big heart. Thank you, God, for people who turn thoughts into actions and bad situations into victories.
That story taught me something about ownership. There are many things in life that we don’t have to own: complaints of others, their criticisms, their ridicule, and their attitudes. What we do own is our own attitude and what we harbor in our hearts. Remember the cycle. What we put into our minds becomes a thought, a thought seeps into our hearts, our hearts produce the actions. I don’t know about you, but I want to own the thoughts that produce good actions. Remember what we own as Proverbs 23:7 tells us, as we think in our heart, that’s how we really are. Our Pastor Frank Snyder has repeated to us over and over you can’t do right if you don’t think right. We need to own right thinking. Let’s skip through Philippians 4 “Be full of joy always because you belong to the Lord. Let all people see how gentle you are. Do not worry. Learn to pray about everything. Give thanks to God. The peace of God is much greater than the human mind can understand. Be at peace. Keep your minds thinking about whatever is true, whatever is respected, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever can be loved, and whatever is well thought of. Be thankful for everything. Keep on doing good deeds. The Lord gives me a reason to be full of joy. “
Let’s own this day and make it full of joy and as Philippians 4:10 says “God Who gives peace will be with you.”