September 14, 2020
Staying Positive

By Dr. Oliver Wagner, Senior Pastor
Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).
Colossians 3:5
A Monster.com article caught my eye: “Ways to stay positive during tough times.” The advice is for the workplace and so come very much from the secular arena of life, but there are many parallels with our spiritual lives that I think you’ll find helpful. The article says when negative energy permeates your work/home it can be emotionally and physically draining—crushing your spirits and productivity. The results? Anxiety, hostility and depression set in. And all of these are on the rise these days! The COVID-19 situation adds additional challenge to having a positive attitude. That’s the problem… so, what’s the solution?

The article starts with this: Self-awareness. Are you circulating gossip? Are you participating in conversations that denigrate, diminish or criticize others? Are your actions or words alienating those around you? Try to identify and be aware of the ways you might be contributing to a toxic or negative environment. Your words and actions matter! Make a concerted effort to curb those negative behaviors so you can instead contribute positive things to the environment around you. Focus on using your words to help and not hurt others. Use words that are thoughtful, kind and build up. Respect others as fellow human beings and honor their right to be who they are. Avoid constant complaining because it puts others off and sucks energy from them while magnifying and prolonging problems.

Wow! That’s helpful, but a lot to take in. I think I’ll stop there for today. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s daily devotion to learn more ways that you can be positive during these tough and often, negative times. (AJC, 9/13/20, p. H1)
God of the cross and empty tomb, you call me to bear the fruit of the spirit while leaving behind the old life of sin and ignorance. Help me live in the light of your love and be a beacon of hope and grace for everyone I meet this day and week. Fill me with your gifts of joy and peace so I may share them freely. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com