I’m so over it.
Scrolling through my news feed, I see this idea of “positivity” more and more, and I like it less and less. Don’t get me wrong, optimism is my middle name. I can truly find the silver lining in the darkest cloud, but positivity is not what we, as Christian, are about. It’s like we’re trying to talk ourselves into happiness or peace in the name of self-care, trying to create our own reality of rainbows and unicorns.
I get it. I look for the good things as well and I’m all about being thankful especially in November, but God has so much more for us than “positivity.” This whole idea is completely centered on us – and anything with us at the center is bound to fail.
We are all about being happy, pursuing and capturing our dreams, accomplishing success in its various forms, and finding value and worth in what we add to our family and society. It’s a crock.
In looking through all of Scripture, I have yet to find a place where God’s objective is our happiness. He promises joy, peace, hope, salvation, but never happiness. Before you equate joy and happiness, joy is actually a contentment and peace in the midst of circumstances, good or bad. Joy is not dependent on what is going on around us, but rests solely on the consistency, hope, and love of a Living God.
As much as “positivity” feels nice, our purpose is so much more. Reading through Hebrews 11, we see a list of faithful followers of Christ, men and women who left “positivity,” happiness, and success behind to pursue Christ most of all. For some it meant a life they had not intended and a death they were not tracking. They found themselves in hard places – from being ostracized by those they loved to being killed for their faith.
It makes our comfortable pursuit of happiness and success pale in the light of eternity.
Can’t find the job you want or your career isn’t going as planned? Struggling to find community in the place you’re planted today? Riding through a bumpy season of marriage or relationship? Uncertain about what the future holds?
Positivity can make you feel better in the moment, but happiness is not our goal.
Our job, our whole life purpose, is to seek the Lord with our whole heart and then follow where he leads. Sometimes he leads us to hard places, sometimes things don’t go the way we intended. I get it, but even more importantly HE gets it and he has a plan for it all.
At the end of the day it’s not about us, but about him. Drawing people to Christ, introducing them to the living God, this is the ultimate objective of us all. His calling for us can lead to difficult circumstances, but ultimately it leads to eternity.
The people of Hebrews 11 can testify to this very thing. In prison, persecuted, ostracized – they experienced it all but even more importantly they experienced hope, joy, peace, and love in the middle. They saw their temporary circumstances as an opportunity to bring more into eternity with Christ.
What is our ultimate goal? What does our heart seek? These are the questions we all have to answer. The story of our lives depends on it.
If we truly are in need of “positivity” I pray that our hearts land on the sure foundation of hope in Christ and not our personal happiness. It’s not about us.