Positively Better

The following article was published in the Arthur Graphic-Clarion in June 2016.

I have noticed something recently on social media. It seems like no matter how good or positive a news story, tweet, or Facebook post might be, there are usually more people that comment negatively on it than positively. Why must we always take the good and try to find something negative or bad? Not only is this
The following article was published in the Arthur Graphic-Clarion in April 2016.
bad for our relationships it is bad for our own personal health and well-being.

In Ephesians 4 Paul reminds us that we need to be about building up and not tearing down. He says that we are to use words that build others up and words that will benefit those who are listening (or reading). These verses remind us that social media is not the cause of this, negativity has been around since Adam and Eve. However, it doesn’t mean that we need to participate either.

A couple of weeks ago the Champaign News Gazette newspaper interviewed the new Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman. They asked him what he told his staff in a recent meeting they had. He said that he was trying to encourage them to be positive and confident in the midst of all the negativity that has been flying around at the U of I recently. He said that we can make a choice each and every day to be positive instead of giving into this cycle of negativity.

That led me to think about the recent success of the Chicago Cubs. Even though they have a lot of talent on that team I believe their success last season and this season is largely due to the positive nature of their manager Joe Maddon. He did this same thing with the Tampa Bay Rays who were one of the smallest market teams in baseball before he came to the Cubs. He is a positive, fun, and encouraging manager and that has led to one of the best starts in Cubs history.

As Christians and followers of Jesus we have the responsibility to be positive encouragers in a world that is often filled with negative discouragers. It is not always easy, and I am not always successful at this, but it is a choice that we can make. We need to make the choice that the apostle Paul suggests in Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Friends, this is positively the better way to live our lives!

Make it a daily choice of yours. Along with your 10,000 steps, crossfit workouts, treadmill exercises, and healthy diet, choose to be a positive influence on those you come into contact with. That might be face-to-face or it could be on social media. Whatever the medium, be sure to build up and not tear down. This is the first step in being a positive witness of your faith in Jesus Christ.
Have a positively wonderful week, 
Glen Rhodes
Arthur Mennonite Church