One-a-Day...for the Heart: Accentuate the Positive
Too often, we complicate walking with the Lord, and the joy of serving Him gets lost in doctrinal differences and legalism. We entertain the false notion that filling our lives with Christian activity and busyness secures our place squarely in front of God as we wait for His rewards and accolades.
A keen awareness of sin and the things that displease the Lord circulates through our thoughts like a ticker tape gone wild. We constantly keep score of the good things we do and the bad things we regret doing until delighting ourselves in the Lord fades away completely, as the last pitiful ounce of joy leaks out of our weary souls. Sadly, we become sour Christians thinking more about the negative than the positive.
Father God is far more positive than negative. Imagine how jazzed He was when He breathed life into a mound of dust He was working with, and voila! -- a living, breathing human being was created!
Though burdened by the world's sin, Jesus Christ did not become a sour man crusted over with hopelessness and despair. Quite the contrary—He thrived on the positivity of God, knowing that all things were possible with God, and there were no limits on what He could accomplish.
Indeed, Holy Spirit didn’t mope around lamenting the fact that sinful mankind was destined for damnation. Instead, He capitalized on God’s attributes of love, comfort, peace, and power as He took every opportunity to come alongside lost and burdened souls and draw them into the Kingdom of God.
The Godhead functions so effectively as they accentuate the positive aspects of God. Salvation, healing, miracles, signs, and wonders occur because they accentuate the positive. The lyrics of a popular song during W.W. II began like this: Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, don’t mess with Mr. In Between (Accentuate the Positive, written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, 1944).
To apply those lyrics spiritually, we would accentuate the positive aspects of the Lord and latch on to the affirmative things that He loves, such as:
God loves everyone. John 3:16 says, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Our goal should be to love all people—Christians and non-Christians, even the unlovely.
God loves righteousness and those who pursue it. Proverbs 15:9 says the way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves him who pursues righteousness. Notice that we are to pursue, or chase after, what is right, and do it. Look for the right things to do.
God loves justice. For the Lord loves justice, and He will never abandon the godly (Psalm 37:8). God loves when we treat others fairly, and He notices injustices.
God loves an obedient, listening heart. Samuel said, "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22). Even the smallest act of obedience to the Lord is significant. When we listen to His voice, it’s of more value to Him than giving up a precious item or large sum of money.
God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). He looks for ways to reward us. When we cheerfully give our time, talents, and money to His purposes, we accentuate God’s very positive trait—His matchless generosity.
When we resist temptation, we choose to refrain from messing with Mr. In Between. Those would be thoughts and actions that pull us away from the Lord. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4 NASB). When we do that, we will automatically not do the things He hates, listed in Proverbs 6:16-19.
The challenge is on: accentuate the positive things God loves, and eliminate the negative things He hates. Kick the doubleminded Mr. In Between to the curb, and get ready for the Lord’s blessing and favor!
© 2022, Chris Werre