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Friday, July 20, 2012

The Negative Do-Nothing

I have observed that people who are negative tend to do nothing. They don't do because they don't believe what they would do will work. They stop doing as much as they can and watch things get worse which reinforces their negativity. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Today, I was reading the story of Elijah (Again! I wondered why God wanted me to read it.) when I noticed that he sat down after a great victory when he believed that Jezebel was coming to kill him. She sent word that she would just to put him in a tizzy. He took off running and finally sat down under a broom tree and prayed to die. He was so negative about the future he wanted it all to end. He didn't want to do another thing.

So, I look at those people I know that are constantly critical. They often say, "Now let me play the devil's advocate. . . ," but most of the time they just sound like the devil. They stop every idea for something new. (There is nothing wrong with pointing out the pitfalls of an idea if you also point out how it could be changed to be more successful.) They offer no suggestions. They do as little as possible and criticize as much as possible. Their seemed to want everything in the world to stop and languish in their own depression.

On the other hand, I see positive people walking into some of the most depressing situations and making them wonderful god-praising successes because they believed there was a God who called and directed them. They did not complain about the minor things. They do not care if they don't get their email or if the internet is down or if they have enough money in their budgets to do what God has directed them to do. They just do what they can and see God do the rest.

And the glory goes to God for what is accomplished.

But does God get any glory from the negative people? He doesn't get any for what they do for they do nothing. He doesn't get any for what they have said. He doesn't get any glory because He is not the center of negative people. The negative person centers on himself.

1 Kings 19:9-10
There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: "What are you doing here Elijah?"
He replied, "I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left and now they are trying to kill me too."

And God gave him something to do.

(I am not talking about clinical depression. That is a totally different matter. I am speaking of people who choose to be negative.)


high-expressions said...

Although I am no expert in clinical depression, I am of the view that, often that (clinical) maybe a term that people take cover under; and so, they have excuse for their state that they are in, and for staying in them. I am NOT being inhuman or inconsiderate or insensitive to the inability of people of get out of the depression that they are in. And I am saying also, that if you have loved ones in such situation (in so-called clinical depression), don't give up on them, even if the patients themselves find it difficult to climb back up from the depth of depression.

I have been in depression before, although I cannot say that it was a long one; and I have a younger sister who have gone into depression, and has stayed in it for years. I have fully come out of mine, but NOT my younger sister. In fact, it is very tiring to deal with and help depressive people, especially they are your loved ones, for when they are your loved ones, your emotions would tend to run high; and you get hurt quite easily.

Some years back, my other sisters were so disappointed with this depressive sister (youngest in the family of 7 siblings), that one of the sisters wanted to break all sisterhood ties with the depressive one. You see, depressive people might do nothing, but they sure can be hurting and abusive of your concerns.

This one sister was terribly hurt when all she wanted to do was to help the depressive sister. I had then told this sister that, there is such a thing as a time and a season (it is in Eccl 3), and the time then, was that she was just to ease off from being too concern for the depressive sister; in other words, she should go take a breather, but it was NOT to be cutting sibling tie! I, then, said to her that the situation has become one of water and oil; unless and until something happens, water is water and oil is oil, they do NOT mix. Depressive people do NOT respond more or less the same, with different people in a season; they don't. This sister then said, so she was right, since I said water and oil, they don't mix, and so, they should go their separate ways (break ties). No, I said, with God, nothing is impossible, bitter water can be turned sweet (Moses and the bitter water), and water can be turned into wine (Jesus turned wine into water), it was just that there was a time and a season, and the time and season then was for her to ease off. Today, this sister is the closest sibling with this still depressive sister, after the season of easing off.

Depressive people all have this one common characteristic, great inertia for not-trying. To them, it is so, so very exhausting to try to climb even a little step up from the bottom of the pit that they have fallen into. This is the first thing you must know, if you want to help people in the pit of depression.

Where you are, if you stay there long enough, the place, with all that is at work there, will shape and change you. In other words, you are almost bound to be changed unless you are having an effective counter. This generally applies to all sorts of setting. And so, we have even such calling for us to stay in the light, because the light and what is at work in the light can change you and transform you. If you stay in the dark, like where evil is always being promoted, you can be affected and even eventually be changed by what is at work there. The pit of depression is a place, though NOT a physical place as such, it is nevertheless, a place, where certain forces are at work. So, if you stay there long enough, you will take on what the forces at work there, want you to take on.


high-expressions said...

Cont. from above

Generally speaking, depressive people are NOT effective people in goodness. And when we look at it that way, we can know whose domain, depression belongs to. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. People in depression have among other things, their self-worth stolen from them. That is why they are very negative, "this one, cannot, that one, cannot, this other one or way, also will not do”; in fact, almost nothing will do, and so, they tend to want to remain where they are – a state of NOT attempting anything or doing nothing. When we talk about they have to effort in something, they are most likely to say they are NOT capable of doing it. Depressive people need a lot of hand holding and encouragement, and therefore, can be very draining on the people who are helping.

Now, as to the question of whether or NOT, it is a choice of the depressed people to choose to be negative, well, perhaps, I will put it as they have fallen into a snare or are being under influence of forces they are NOT strong enough to shake off (I am NOT saying there are no such cases of people falling into the depression category because of pure chemical or bodily secretion imbalance in their system, and therefore must be medically corrected, but so many cases are NOT of that kind). Still, depressive people can be helped to recover, and we have to help them shake off the “just leave me to doing nothing” mindset.

Depressive people’s doing nothing has got little to do with laziness or low EQ or IQ. Perhaps, Ps Prentis was intentioned to refer to those other than depressive people. But I do believe depressive people need NOT be excluded. Sure, depressive people do find it hard to appreciate the many truths or prescription of ways of God, but a lot of people also do NOT “see” a lot of truth or prescription of ways of God!

I had a strong ground in the truths and ways of God before I hit my depression period (and we can rightly conclude Elijah also did, before he hit his), but NOT so, my younger sister. I have had a “counter” which my sister did NOT have. With the help of God, I could manage step by step up from the bottom of the depression pit, but my sister found it very tough going, and would every now and then, decided to give up, and fall back down, and that was what really frustrated helpers like my other sisters and siblings. Actually, the depressed sister was frustrated herself, too!

The point is that we must believe that God’s truth shall set people free; the light of God can reach to the deepest of all pits, and God’s hand is never too short to reach to those in need of help. God and His Word is applicable in all scenario; if it is applicable for one, for his office or work setting; is applicable for one holding clergy position; is applicable for who is sick physically; is applicable for one who is a substance abuser like a drug addict, a smoker, it is also applicable for one in depression.

Rather, although NOT impossible, the stubbornly wicked ones are the most problematic ones. When we say the word, stubborn or stubbornly, it means the will or volition of men is key. When this will or volition is NOT yielded unto the Lord, it is in danger of be ensnared by the devil. Again, it has little to do with levels of EQ or IQ as such. Many so-called smart people, they do NOT necessarily do the right stuff, and when they are NOT, they are actually also the “negative-do nothing”.

I like this, which is said, in Ps Prentis’ article: “They just do what they can and see God do the rest.
And the glory goes to God for what is accomplished.”
{the “they” being referring to the right-attitude people}

And I want to emphasize the “old school”, and be a broken record, and keep saying this: “We are meant to glorify God.”


high-expressions said...

COnt. from above

Is God NOT full of glory? Is NOT God already glorious independent of us? The answer to both questions is Yes. Then why do we still need to glorify God; and what does it mean? When I glorify God it means I behold Him as The Glorious One, and I show to others or point others to, His glory, so that others join me to behold Him as The Glorious One.

How glorious is His glory? You don’t know! I don’t know enough! And so, an inevitable part of glorifying God is to get to know Him – get to know God. Isn’t that glorifying? You don’t get it! When we bother to spend the time and effort to get to know a person, it goes to show how much we behold the person in our heart, and when others see and know that we go to that length, they too, catch a glimpse of the awesomeness of the person in your heart. And for the person you behold in your heart, he sees how much you hold him in esteem. Then, in addition that - getting to know Him, whatever we do and even think, it would reveal of our heart’s beholding of Him in the greatest esteem or NOT, and it would reveal to others of the glory of Him.

So, when we do nothing because we are lazy, it does NOT glorify God. Why? Because we are being disobedient to Him, for His Word warns us of laziness. So, as a revealer of our own heart-condition, it is saying to God, we are NOT holding Him in the highest esteem, for we have chosen to disobey Him. And as a revealer to others, we are projecting that God condones his children to be lazy. If you say, you don’t know that the Word did warn about laziness, then it also revealed of your heart-condition, that you have NOT been doing anything to know Him (of course, all of us are work-in-progress as far as knowing God is concerned, but you should be making effort in this aspect).

When we worship God with our praises and songs of worship, we are glorifying Him. It reveals of our heart-condition towards Him if indeed we worship in spirit and in truth. And, it reveals how great this God is, that we worship Him, when others witness or know of it. When we worship Him in service, serving God, I mean, it is the same; it glorifies God, for it tells of our heart-condition that we behold Him to the highest that we would devote time and effort to do His bidding, willing and without expectation of payments, when the world’s expectation is that, time and effort are exchangeable for money. It tells to others, God is glorious, more expensive than gold and silver.

When we hold out, that this one, cannot, that one, cannot, and this other one or way, also cannot, despite we have a glorious God, whom we claim as one of His awesomeness or gloriousness is that He keeps His promises with us, which includes promises of being with us in righteous works, and helping us, we are NOT glorifying God. It reveals of our heart that we do NOT think God is that glorious. When we act in the absence of faith in God, it is similarly also NOT glorifying God, for it reveals of our true heart-condition of having doubt that God will come and do His part when we have done our part.

People with high EQ or IQ, they may do certain things, and they will do certain other things; in other words, they are NOT lazy, it is that they pick and choose what they will put their mind and hands to. And so, depending on what they put their mind and hands to, they may or may NOT glorify God. Of course, if they put NOT their mind and their hands to the things that will glorify God, then they are NOT glorifying God, even though they may have their mind and hands full, with other kinds of work/things. People with godly wisdom, on the other hand, do that which God will have them do, even if they may NOT understand. Actually, obedience to God (NOT men, but God) does NOT need understanding; you just do or NOT do, accordingly!


high-expressions said...

COnt. from above

Depressive people, generally, are “lethargic” people, most being snared with low self-worth to attempt things. These are different in heart-condition from the lazy people and the smart but un-yielded people. They need to be helped to recover from their low self esteem. They may refuse help, but the reason for their refusal is NOT predominately pride-centered, which is the case of smart but un-yielded people. The latter goes by His intelligence, and they refuse certain works, because they follow the dictate of their intellect rather than the will and desire of God. For the depressive people, it is NOT so much of the lack of yieldedness to begin with, but they do struggle with our view of a glorious God. They do NOT think God is glorious enough to love them enough to give them a better life. They do NOT think God is glorious enough to help them, which in their own view, are inferior people. They do NOT think they could ever be of any use to God, and so, they cannot figure out, NOT that they need to figure out, but they would do that, why God would be bothered with them.

At this point, I want to say that there are many depressive people in the world; maybe they are NOT “clinically” depressed, but they are in varying degree of depressiveness. I suspect many (NOT all) of the followers of the overly grace teachings come from this class, even though they will deny it. Such teachings are very appealing to them. Some years back I discovered that my depressed sister then was following such teachings. The core of such teachings is that it is all about grace, and talk of works are shunned; it is about righteous standing and NOT right living, and it is about identity, but NOT what you are to do to live out that identity, and it is about God, and so, there is no men’s part but only God doing all things; and it is about the end and the means of the Christian life is just basking in grace. While I do understand that it is a good thing for such people to know God loves them, the longer term and continual goal should be that they are to grow in wholeness so as to be effective glorifier of God on an ongoing basis.

The followers of the overly grace teachings (these, they called themselves Christians like any of us, in case you do NOT know), will protest, and probably say, “You means the thousands and thousands of us congregating together to sing to the Lord in weekend services is NOT glorifying God!?” Indeed worship by way of singing praises and worship songs to the Lord is an aspect, and an important aspect of glorifying God, but it is NOT the only aspect. An analogy is that a husband keeps saying “I love you” to the wife, but he does NOT do anything else to manifest that love. If the wife can, she sure wants to take a look at his heart and see if he indeed loves her! Viewing it from another angle, if the husband truly loves the wife, the love should show up in forms other than “I love you”. If people go to weekend worship services to sing songs, to kill time, or because, for them, it is the hip thing to do, or it is like I get to go Karaoke with friends or shake a bogey at a disco, or to run away from bugging things of life, they don’t necessarily glorify God. And it does NOT mean that they are improving on their wholeness, too. If I may be crude about it, if singing and praising God is more like getting a shot of drug, and then you are back to inability to cope with life, then that is just a temporary “escape” mechanism. Yes, we do encourage people to sing and praise God regardless of circumstances, but we never forget to exhort growing into the kind of person God wants them to be; and the kind is definitely NOT one who is self-centred, doing nothing or doing anything he wants, NOT mindful of the will and desires of God, and NOT taking into account the interests of others.


high-expressions said...

God’s pattern (NOT exceptions) is NOT this: It is ALL God’s part. No, it is NOT all God’s part when it comes to you living your Christian life. Look, one cannot expect God to give him a job, when he does NOT want to make any effort to apply for any jobs, and then even if by God’s grace and exercise of sovereignty, God gives you a job, but you do NOT work at it, the job, and expect to be continued to be employed, and then even if you could stay on, at the job, you could expect God to get you a promotion, and up your pay. You laugh at this, but I tell you even though one doesn’t necessarily apply it at his job, because he is quite surely to fall flat on his face, such individuals can be seen to apply such to various aspects of life, including, doing nothing to serve God, including NOT lifting his hands to do an act of kindness or love to a neighbour. Teaching it is ALL God’s part, when we are dealing with living a Christian life, is in the long run, detrimental to the well-being of the person. As a norm, there is the man’s part, and there is the God’s part. To help the depressive person out of the pit completely, the “patient” needs to embrace, if NOT initially, surely subsequently, there is his part, even as God does His part. Please, we cannot make a doctrine and theology out of brief occasion like God’s feeding and causing Elijah to sleep, over and over again, and claim that God does NOT need you to help yourself out of your depressed state, purportedly that He would keep giving you the food and “eating it for you”! If God had to keep eating it for you, then aren’t you a negative-do nothing! God’s desire is for you to arise, and overcome, and He wants you to work with Him to accomplish that, and you can then be going on to be on assignment, just as Elijah experienced; God helped him, fed him, and gave him rest, and eventually he was restored.

If you are in any of the categories or classes of negative-do nothing, you are to come out of that. Know that you are to glorify God, and you are NOT glorifying God if you continue to stay that way. If you were once NOT a negative do-nothing, but somehow you have fallen into the pit, and are now in a class of negative-do nothing, the good news is that Elijah went into such scenario, but God did restore him; and so, God can restore you, if you will work with him.

If we want to talk about what is the right attitude of Christian in his walk, there is a lot more, that we can say, and this comment will NOT end. So, I must end, but as a last thing, perhaps it is good to stress that there is a universal requirement to steer clear of falling into negative-do nothing; and that is humility before God. Scripture reveals that when I am proud, God opposes me (1 Pet 5:5). As such, that He opposes me, then obviously, what I do, is NOT meaningful to Him. Whether we are doing anything or nothing, clearly, it must be viewed from God’s perspective, since it is all about God. The practical guide I can give, is to fall in or align in, to the corporate will and desires of God, and allow Him to use you, as He deems fit, as He tweaks real-time, concerning the fluid world that we are finding ourselves in; work with God, discern our part, and do our part, be faithful and persevere in what we can do, and do it with faith that God will come and do His part, giving bigger than life outcome, the glorify of which clearly belonging to Him. Even if there is no such outcome, all the same, give thanks to God, IN all circumstances, for it is the will of God for you, in Christ Jesus (1 The 5:18).

Anthony Chia, high.expressions – Lord, many have turned “It is all about you” into “It is all your part”, excusing themselves of NOT doing anything, when it really means we are to do everything you want done. That such believers are doing nothing and are therefore, negative; they even discourage others. Lord, forgive me and the rest of us, who pay only lip service to “it is all about you”, and NOT loving you enough, NOT honoring you enough, and NOT glorifying you enough.