Sometimes I wonder if some forms of the 'EXTREME positive thinking' we christians push onto one another, is nothing more than mind over matter...which is more of 'self power' instead of 'Holy Spirit' power. Even a form of spiritual pride in some cases... (I'm guilty of it!).
You know like: Be happy and all spiritual, and be 'positive', never say ANYTHING otherwise, or else you can't associate with us...you might bring us down.
Yet, God says in the word, things like: associate with the lowly-Romans 12:15-17, better to be lowly-Proverbs 16:19. There is a time for everything-Ecclesiastes 3. I know....the Bibles says a LOT about a LOT!
Any extreme is disfunctional (the Bible didn't say that, but so true!). I'm just continually evaluating my own heart, and things I need to work on. I found myself doing this to a friend...being all "Ms. Positive", and I believe I did more crushing of the friend's spirit than I did encourage for Christ. :-/
Yes, we are given free will to make choices, christians should think on 'good and lovely' things...things of good report-Phil 4:8...encourage others with God's word.
Not too sure if 'our will' should be 'taking full control' to accomplish this by never saying anything negative or questioning...never expressing or allowing others to express sadness, anger or hurt/pain, or anything other than happy all the time mentality.
David in the book of Psalm sure expressed his feelings!
I realize there is a respectful way to express some of these emotions, and personally I've not 'always' been respectful about expressing my feelings.
Doesn't the whole mind over matter sort of cheapen what Jesus did on the cross when we 'WILL' things into being by our own strength? Where's the full surrender in this? It's like willing to diet, but not really having the 'life change'. Which has never worked for me either.
The beauty and power of the cross, by God's word, and FULLY surrendering and trusting JESUS for HIM to transform us, there is Holy Spirit power in the cross! In the RESURRECTION! Thank you JESUS!
Point others to the cross, not in a way that puts pressure on them to be positive ALL the time. Receive grace...and extend this grace to others? Encourage with God's word, not force them to be happy when they are not.
Love others...which Jesus says is above ALL the greatest of commandments...love God, love others.
Remind each other that yes....the Bible says, "In this world WE WILL have trouble, but take heart, JESUS has overcome it!" JESUS, not anything in OUR own power or strength.
Sometimes, it can really hurt the body of Christ to dismiss others when they struggle, and treat them with ZERO compassion or treat them with less value....or as if they have not 'arrived' at some spiritual plateau. The Bible says to treat others as better than ourselves-Rom. 12:10. One version actually says to OUTDO one another in showing HONOR to others. It didn't say, only honor those who get it all right. I think we change the world when we live it out more than anything.
I'm thinking outloud here...that's all...and I SURE DO have a LOT to work on myself!! There is NOTHING GOOD in me, accept Jesus Christ. I'm guilty of doing the same of these things to others in their struggles and pain.
If we are to love as in 1 Corin. 13...maybe instead, point each other to Jesus, share scripture, but patiently bear with them in their pain and struggles...take time to listen and HEAR their HEART. I think sometimes when we don't hear someone's heart, we are really saying..."If you don't mind, you are wasting my time and you really don't matter enough for it. How does that fit into putting others before ourselves?
Only wondering... I know...sort of heavy thinking for a Monday. I need coffee. ;)