Negativity Grows Like a Weed

Drawn_wallpapers_Village_Church_018776_Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8

In a women’s group I once led, I learned a lesson about negativity, how it can take seed and grow wild. First, one person plants the seed. It is watered by people commiserating with the situation by sharing their own negative experiences, and soon the topic changes from one of encouragement and growth to a bash-it-all which has no positive effect at all. It’s a weed, thorny and deep, in its root system, and difficult to unwind. People talk against Christians on a public forum, and like my women’s group, it can take seed and turn into something else, like a website I found which bothered me a little.

A website called, Sundays Are The Worst, leave me with mixed feelings. Do we really need one more website putting down Christians?  I do understand why this pastor and his church began the website.

Personally, I am tired of Christianity being put down on the outside and from the inside. I love my fellow believers, and I think we need to return accountability within the church. A shepherd needs to keep his congregation accountable to our Christian values through the individual relationships formed within a church body. A blog is a great way to teach, but the more appropriate response would have been to hold the offending person accountable to his or her actions. Make no mistake; I do emphathise with the servers.

After working in customer service most of my life, I did not discern between believer and unbeliever. Rude behavior is a human trait and comes from both sides. Some are unaware of it, like I have heard about the older generations. Some seniors are quite frugal with every dollar and may not realize their lack of generosity. I tip 20%, and no matter how bad the service, treat each server like a human. If the service is exceptionally bad, I do not tip at all, and do not return to that restaurant. This has only happened once.

In that instance, the restaurant was empty of all but I and maybe another table. The waiters and waitresses were hanging around the coffee pot, laughing and talking, not busy at all. Our coffee cups were never refilled. We tried to get their attention, but to no avail. This was a rare circumstance of bad service. If service is slow, I don’t complain. I go out to enjoy time with the people I love. If a spot is on my silverware, I say nothing. Bad behavior does exist in Christianity, because we all struggle with sin. Sin goes unchecked because churches and the church body are afraid to offend. It’s easier to broadly sweep accusations over an entire body than to confront a particular offender head on. Political correctness isn’t just in culture, but in our body of believers, too. Negativity is easy.

Learning the lessons of bad behavior is hard. It takes humility to approach a server or someone you offended to say, I’m sorry.  It takes strength to self-examine and repentance to turn a corner, reversing the bad habits we learned as humans. How about holding each other accountable?

I believe the creators of Sundays Are The Worst have good intentions. Good lessons can be learned, but remember, there are always two sides to every story. Negativity can grow like a weed. I am reminded about what Brandon Cox said:

It is not possible to concoct a story about the church that is better than what people actually experience in the real world, but it is possible to tell the right stories and to tell them well. Part of flooding the online space with God’s glory and with the gospel of Jesus is making sure the gospel is given a great deal of attention next to all the other stories being told. This has been our mission since the beginning, and we now have more tools than ever for getting it done. – Brandon Cox, How Social Media Can Save The Church’s Brand

What do you think of this site? Share your thoughts.

 

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5 thoughts on “Negativity Grows Like a Weed”

  1. I had to go look at the site as I was not familiar with it. Sadly, we cannot automatically identify those who attended church as Christians. I think there can be distinct differences.

    I do agree with you that some of the perceived and actual rude treatment is generational. The older generations have high standards for service and many certainly still do value a dollar. When I go eat with my father a few times per year, I will sneak back to the table and leave an appropriate tip. His mind tip calculator is stuck in the 1950s…

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