Some of us just have a negative predisposition toward people. We watch others and prepare to make a remark about anything. How they dressed. What they said. How they interacted with someone else….we wait eagerly to find something to talk about someone else not realizing the same thing is happening to us. Someone else is watching us and looking for something to say about our appearance, our interaction, our conversation, anything!
After observing this, I understood more clearly. “Love expects the best.”
As a culture, it has become normative to make everyone a joke. To use other people’s humanity as fodder for conversation because we don’t know how else to connect except to talk about someone else. But how life-giving is that? To trash each other….just because? And have you ever cracked a joke about someone you knew or didn’t know and then learned more about the context later. Maybe they appeared that way because they lost their job 6 months ago and can not afford nice clothing. Maybe they are talking like that because they have a degenerative disease Maybe she has an addiction and does not realize what she is doing. There is so much context behind a person.
Here is a love challenge:
- Find the positive. The next time we see a stranger think the best of them. Consider them as yourselves. This person may be just like you, and therefore is awesome!..and human with flaws and a story.
- Shut down the Negative. The moment we feel tempted to make jest of their appearance or something about them, shut it down with truth. And the truth is…you don’t know their story. The truth is, you wouldn’t want someone to be remarking about you especially if they didn’t know your story.
- Stand up and Stand out. It can be hard to be positive when you are around just one negative person. It takes a strong person to be secure in their identity without being influenced by another person. But if the company we are keeping starts using another’s humanity for fodder, we gotta shut it down. We might say, “Well, you never know what a person is going through.” OR “I sure would hate if people were saying that about us. Lol..”….As we learn to kill this habit, we demonstrate good habits for others. It’s always better to be a light even if another chooses darkness.
When we start off with negative thoughts about strangers, it sure makes it hard to be a light or to be a source of life to someone who might need your smile. Yes, some people are being jerks. But before we set our mouths to aim fire, let’s not forget we have a similar potential. We are all in the same boat in needing to be better. So in the words of Uncle Jesse, Have Mercy! 🙂 and in the words of Apostle Paul, “Expect the best!”