Making the Right Choice

I usually write my own devtions and thoughts. But I found this worth sharing. Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award-winning television sports director for Fox Sports, ESPN, and NBC, with a background in radio. He and his wife, Joni, are former staff members of Campus Crusade’s Athletes in Action.

I’m Done!
by Dave Burchett

I have reached and exceeded my saturation point. 

I’m done.

Done with what? I am done with negativity. Our leaders, the media, and social media platforms spend a ridiculous percentage of their energy on what is wrong with this world. Their solutions are often soul-sucking condemnation, judgement, and summary dismissal of people who simply ask questions. Perhaps the most distressing thing is that many in the church have fallen into the same dark space. Christian social media responses to cultural and doctrinal issues may be slightly less profane but not much, if any, less negative.

Brothers and sisters, we are supposed to be light! But please don’t take my word for it. Your argument is with Jesus. 

“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will 
praise your heavenly Father.” 
(Matthew 5:16, NLT)

What I see too often is this very sad paraphrase of His words demonstrated through social media platforms. 

“Let my sharp words shame or demean you so that everyone will see how clever I am and praise me.” 

Paul addressed why we should be eager to be light in the world in Ephesians 5:8. 

“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!“

My heart breaks when I see how many followers of Christ seem to have forgotten they were once full of darkness. It is only because of God’s grace that you have light. 

So I am done with negativity and it is not because I am naive about the condition of the world. I am done with negativity precisely because of the condition of the world. This hurting, fearful populace needs hope, light, and grace. They need the positive message of the Good News. That is my goal for the rest of my days. I feel quite comfortable that the negative side will be well represented by countless others. 

Everyday I need to make choices.

I can be judgmental or I can be joyful.
I can be pessimistic or I can be prayerful.
I can be condemning or I can be caring.
I can be fearful or I can be faithful.
I can be grace-filled or I can be graceless.

We make those choices and I know they are not easy. Making the choice to eat better is hard. Making the choice to work out is even harder for me. Those are decisions with good but temporal benefits. But making the choice to be a positive, loving light in this world has eternal impact. Warren Wiersbe is one of my favorite writers. His book Be Joyful: Philippians): Even When Things Go Wrong, You Can Have Joy is a great study to reorient your negativity.

“When you have the single mind, you look on your circumstances as God-given opportunities for the furtherance of the gospel, and you rejoice at what God is going to do instead of complaining about what God did not do.”― Warren W. Wiersbe

That response ain’t natural my friends. That is a mindset based on who God is. It is a choice grounded on the grace He has lavishly given to each one of His children. I’m done with negativity. I don’t know if I have two weeks or two decades left on this planet but I don’t want to spend my time wallowing in pessimism. I remember joking with my television production crew a few years ago that I was in the 4th quarter of life. One of my dear, encouraging friends said this with a smile on his face. “What if you’re in overtime?” That could well be but no matter how much time is on the life clock I want to be a positive light. I want to remember and live out the truth of John 13:35.

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

The choice to love and be light is infinitely more important than winning online arguments, getting social media likes, and racking up followers. I want to be a loving light for the Good News of the gospel. Anyone want to join me?