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negativeFirst let me say, we really are products of our environment and who we surround ourselves with has a huge impact on us. We are the company we keep. Forget teen agers and peer pressure, adults are just as vulnerable. So yes, dump all the toxic people you encounter, you just don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Chose wisely who you spend your time with. They really will influence you.

I have to laugh whenever I see this meme, however. Get rid of the toxic people. So like, move 3 states away, become an orphan, definitely quit your job, divorce your family, and take up residence  in a remote lighthouse somewhere? Television is totally out…..but I suppose now church is probably out, too?

neagativity2Oh, now I’ve probably gone and offended somebody! A far bigger problem in churches is actually the number of people who are always “fine.” Blessed! Just levitating 3 feet off the ground through all the storms of life here.  I’m fine, I’m fine…..

In crazy upside down world, even positivity itself can sometimes become a toxic.

Don’t “people” and “negativity” kind of go together like peas in a pod? Pretty sure you can’t have one without the other. You can however, upgrade! Find people who lean more positive. Find people who aren’t so toxic you have to hunker down among the spam and ammo in your bunker like you’re trapped behind enemy lines….

negative3You may laugh if you like,  but I have darn near been there and done that. It’s a bit funny, but in those dire moments, I have actually heard the Lord say, So, are you ready to let me handle your relationships for you?

Uh, maybe. There is slight possibility I could use some help here…..

Just for future reference if the Lord ever asks, “Can I fix it for you?” Just say “yes.” I kid you not, He always does a better job then we do. I suppose that is self-evident, it is just that at the time most of us are more like, “No I’m good, I got this.” Seriously, people could be running down the street on fire and some of us would still go, it’s all good, I got this! Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing.

negativityIn my defense here, I do live in the 9th circuit of hell trying desperately to put the “fun” in fundamentalist, rather than just putting the fun in dysFUNctional. Those “fundamentals” are pretty loosely defined, too. “Fundamentalism” has a lot of political and cultural connotations. My version is more like, I wonder if the Lord’s name might be more significant and relevent to our lives rather than being just the words we yell out every time we hit our thumb with a hammer?

Ya think? I certainly think so.

So where I live we have this thing, this cycle, this source of revenue, the revolving door of hospital, jail, court system, mental health, drug and alcohol counseling. Wash, rinse, repeat. Sometimes for decades. Generations. I just think as long as we are penciling in a visit to every other institution known to man, we should consider visiting the church, too.

agriculture barn cabin chapel

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It will never be court ordered or mandated. It’s basically free.  Sometimes it really helps. Surely it’s nicer place then jail or the hospital? I mean, most of us actually have cookies.

So, I really do want people to know the Lord. It breaks my heart that there are people in the world trying to do life without Him. That’s a huge part of the story. However, spite motivates me too. I want to see that source of misery, that source of revenue pinched off before it consumes one more person.

No  more revolving doors of misery and an endless stream of broken commodities caught up in that cycle. I want to see the 9th circuit of hell transformed into something that looks more like the outskirts of heaven. For everyone, but especially for those whose suffering, those whose very lives are now commodities, sources of revenue for a broken system that really never fixes anything.

Be radical. Buck the trend. Chase the Lord, and try to ask yourself why there is always so much resistance here. I’m a rebel. Tell me the “church is oppressive” and “Jesus should be avoided” at all costs, I’m going to just dig right in until I find out exactly why.

Part of that “why” is because He sets us free and whom the Son sets free is free indeed.

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