'When you walk into a room does the atmosphere get better or worse?' Our pastor posed this question to us yesterday. Hmmmmm. 1 Corinthians 16:14 says, 'Do everything in love.' If only I could fully follow that verse the answer to the room question would be clear. Unfortunately, I get caught up too often in jealousy, judging others, and gossip. None of those things make the atmosphere of any room or my heart better.
If I just measure this with how I feel about others behavior my answer is clear. When someone bad mouths others I am always left wondering what they say about me when I am not around. When someone focuses more on bragging about themselves rather than listening to others I am not as interested in what they are saying. When someone is constantly putting down another persons thoughts and opinions it leaves me questioning their thoughts and opinions.
None of us is right all the time. All of us get too self focused at times. What I want to do is really think about what actions positively and negatively impacts me. Then try harder to embrace those in my life. I know I can be positive, generous and a joy to be around. But I can also be tiresome with my whining and complaining about how others have wronged me. If I don't want to hear it~I shouldn't be saying it. Simple. It may be simple but it is certainly not easy to stay positive and not share my frustrations and hurts with others.
Of course it is healthy to have a confidant that I share my heart with. The trouble comes when I feel the need to tell everyone my woes. That changes my whole day to the negative. It also leaves those I barely know wondering why the heck I am telling them my problems. Pity party restraints are needed. Just because I am sad, mad or angry doesn't mean everyone needs to know. Besides it will only grow those feelings and keep me wallowing in them all day. Perhaps the better path would be to talk it out with the offending party. Maybe I would find out it was all a great misunderstanding. Then I could get back to my positive day feeling the issue is resolved. Seems to me that is what 'doing everything in love' is really about.