The Pessimistic Side of Community

Today has been the best day of my week so far. My thoughts have turned from last week’s failures and refocused on the possibility of great things happening this coming Sunday. One big part of my emotional turnaround was the community of faith offering support and encouragement. As I mentioned yesterday my church has been a blessing to me getting my thoughts clear and seeing the good in my life.

Last night I was thinking about my whole experience and a light bulb came on in my mind. I could have easily seen this story from a completely different perspective. With little effort I could have seen the dark clouds behind the silver lining. So I started a mental list of all the ways I could have viewed this experience differently.

-Only 28 people made positive comments on Facebook about me. I serve about 250 people. That could mean that over 200 people really don’t care about me.
-No one showed up at my house weeping for my struggles.
-Some people I care about said nothing. Do they not care about me?
-No one showed up with gifts or food.
-No one from my high school Sunday school class did anything.
-My own children didn’t even notice how down I was on Sunday.
-I know people who were gone from worship last Sunday will be gone again this Sunday.

I could probably go on and on, but you get the idea.

Here is the point. If I am so inclined I can always find a reason to see the glass as half empty. If I am looking for more people to let me down, I will find them. If I think the Church generally doesn’t care about me, there is a lot of information that could support that theory.

One of the biggest problems that exist in any faith community is the ability to see the worst in any situation. There is the great possibility that all my negative thoughts about people will come true. If I look hard enough there is always a reason to be sad or mad.

Which view are you going to take? Is having one person showing encouragement and support enough? I can’t answer that for you, but your answer will determine whether you love or hate the Church.

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