In his book, "Lectures To My Students," the still highly regarded nineteenth century minister, C.H. Spurgeon, wrote: "I have one blind eye and one deaf ear and they are the best ear and eye that I have." This trainer of ministers was simply passing on the advice of Solomon written long before him: "Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken" (Ecclesiastes 7:21).
When I hear someone say, "I'm always the last to know about trouble in my church," I know I'm in wise company.
Some things are better left unseen and unheard.
Paying too much attention to negatives can cause one to become an expert at faultfinding. And if you build your life on faults, expect earthquakes. Nothing will go right in your life if you chose to fill your mind with things that are wrong with people God loves.
Chronic complainers seldom see this solemn truth: their constant griping is actually directed toward God. To complain about our circumstances is to complain about Him, since He directs or allows all the events that come into our lives.
It's time, then, to tune out all the cutting negative voices of the past.
Why not become blind and deaf to all voices and events that drag you down?
Hear birds instead of sirens.
Hear laughter instead of complaining.
Look for rainbows instead of dark clouds.
See the beauty of snowflakes instead of complaining about the depth of the snow.
Remember the encouragements of yesterday and make them work for you today.
Members of a congregation were filing out of their church shaking hands and exchanging greetings. I had never ministered at this church before but felt at ease with the people. The bond of love between us was new but familiar.
One of the worshippers stopped to ask if I might consider writing a book to help those struggling with negative attitudes. "I'm so negative," he said. "I'm negative about the church--about everything.
Millions who exit church services and others who never enter them are defeated by this destructive frame of mind. Negativism is a thief that robs people of adventure and joy; even the economy of the nation is drained of needed vitality by this crippling condition that causes its victims to expect little and attempt less.
A man I once met in a Detroit hospital left an impression on me that remains: his attitude demonstrated the faith he possessed was genuine. He seemed blind and deaf to the faults of others and the two words he spoke to me as we parted have returned to refresh me again and again.
"Be encouraged!" he said.
What good words!
Perhaps someone you will meet today needs to experience their life changing power.
Roger Campbell is an author, a columnist and broadcaster who was a pastor for 22 years.
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