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Pointers along the way #662

Positive going negative

- Jacob Ninan

There is a strong trend in the world, to focus on the positive and keep away the negative in order to be successful and happy. This ignores a practical fact that we can't become positive until we deal properly with the negative. As a result, all this push for the positive is only translating people into a world of make-believe where they try to imagine things are positive and close their eyes towards the negative.

First there is the positive gospel where all one has to do is to 'accept' Jesus. Any talk about sin and hell will be highly negative and will disturb the hearers! But how can a man repent unless he knows about his sins and their consequence? Until he acknowledges his sins and turns his back on them, how can he get to the Saviour to receive forgiveness?

Then comes the 'good' news of who God has made him 'in Christ', a new creature seated with Christ in the heavenly places with all things made new! No one tells him that he has to put off his old nature (Ep.4:22), keep it on the cross (Ga.5:24), take up his cross daily and deny himself in order to follow Jesus (Lk.9:23)! All he needs to do is to make positive confessions and everything will work out for good! If things happen to go wrong, he just has to command the mountain to go fall in the sea! He is not told that the devil will be after him and how he has to be watchful (1Pe.5:8) after putting on the whole armour of God (Ep.6:11).

The new 'believer' is promised that once he came to Jesus everything would be nice and bubbly. He can just sing worship songs to the latest beat and have a blast every Sunday.

Unfortunately, when the realities of life hit the new 'believers' many of them go back to their old lives. Some are too ashamed to do that after professing salvation and learn quickly to create a facade of words, songs and activities behind which they can hide their real selves and pretend everything is going well.

The salvation Jesus came with is real, dealing with the problems and challenges of daily life and not a euphoria couched in words and activities. Jesus helps us to face life honestly and squarely. There are a lot of negative things we have to deal with which come from our old self (Ro.6:12,13), a sinful world around and the fury of the devil directed at us. Jesus not only shows us how to deal with these but also walks with us and sometimes carries us through. In the end we become wiser and stronger, even able to help other people. We can see this if we read the Bible honestly and seek after God with all our heart. We can see how many things we are exhorted to 'do', how to deal with the negative things and how to become positive in a real way.

Let us not fritter away our lives with nice music and thrilling videos imagining that that is all there is to salvation. Don't live in an imaginary positivity. Let us face reality and deal with it, and experience the truth of God's love, wisdom and power that will transform our practical lives.


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