Friday, March 8, 2013

Lenten Reflections: Positive

"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." - Philippians 4:8

The choice is ours. Negative or positive? Dark or light? Hatred or love? Anger or peace?

"What do you want from me today, God?"

"Really? Did you read what Paul just said, or just skim over it to fill up your quiet time?"

"No, I read it!  Really, God!  I just...." 
Be true.... What is truth?

Be noble.... Like the Presidential candidates?

Be right.... But I'm usually wrong.  

Be pure...."But I'm contaminated. No one else is pure. Why should I be?"

Be lovely...."But I'm ugly, just as the world around me."

Be admirable...."No one cares when you're admirable, God. But when you're detestable, people pay attention."

Be excellent...."I've seen excellence in action. And I don't want it."

Be praiseworthy...."Praise who?"

Definition is critical. Clarity is essential. Negative or positive? Man or God?

Pure? Self-righteous hypocrite

Lovely? Vanity

Admirable? Better than YOU

Excellent? Success at all cost 

Praiseworthy? Arrogance  

It's ironic how we so often ask God to reveal his will for us. When His words so clearly tell us, you would think the answer would be clear. But freewill leaves us with a choice.

But even the positive can be manifest in the negative.  

Truth or lies?

Positive or negative?

The positive unites. The negative brings separation.

The reality is that when we're in union with God, choosing the negative is much less likely, if not impossible. Unity with God is essential as we journey through this world, and unity with one another makes the trip that much easier. It's positive. It reveals God's Kingdom.


When we disconnect, we dwell in negative spaces. We become complacent and mindlessly roam through areas of life, clinging to whatever adds temporary light. We disengage with one another.


Lent is a time when we examine the negative in light of the positive. We embrace the negative so that we can cling to the positive. Lent is about choosing; choosing God's words or man's. Lent is about definition; defining what is truth, and rejecting what is false.

Lord, we know how easy it is to choose the negative, even when we think we're choosing the positive. Enable us to define the positive through You eyes, through Your words, and through Your Spirit. And as we find truth, unite us closer to You, so that we can unite closer to others.