3 Negatives That Push You To Expand
We often view the negative occurrences in our lives as only hindrances. But if we look deeper into what happens and listen to the voice of the Lord, He will show us how purpose is hidden within negative experiences. Initially these negative experiences do not look good. Yet in the stages surrounding the bad encounters, a great thing is emerging. ….But before we delve into three negatives, there is something that I need to briefly discuss. There were some thought-provoking words about my post entitled, “Do You Know You?” Let me help those who misunderstood. Sometimes we might see ourselves in others’ nameless testimonials. That doesn’t automatically mean the writers park in the past, harbor ill-feelings towards us or are even concentrating on us. Some are merely illustrating events to make a point about themselves. The emphasis of the testimonial in the post, “Do You Know You?” was to stress how coming through devastating events can cause you to initially have a negative jaded view of yourself; when in actuality something good like perseverance is developing. While we press forward, we occasionally meet obstacles. During these times, when we briefly glimpse at the past, it helps us to realize how God has blessed us. We don’t dwell in yesterday, nor do we walk in bitterness, but we keep it moving knowing that, If God did it for us before, whatever our current “light affliction” is; it is temporary. Now, let’s look at three negatives that push us to expand.
- Rejection: Most of us usually cringe at rejection. It does not feel good in any shape, form or fashion. But, there are two sides to rejection. Let’s start with the bad side. Rejection hurts. At times, it is a lingering lion waiting to roar. Too much rejection can cause us to feel as though God just does not care. We all have experienced rejection in some way or another. Rejection from people in general, friends, family, those who we give our hearts to. Men rejected by women they would like to date. Women rejected by that man whom they just adore. Rejection from co-workers and even co-laborers in Christ. Rejection from car loan, credit card, mortgage and utility companies, job applications, college applications, promotions on our jobs, etc. After so many rejections, we can tend to expect rejection and see it in most circumstances. Some of us also become an initiator of rejection; and we no longer let people into our space; out of our own fear of more rejection.
- But there is a positive side of rejection. In certain circumstances, rejection is a good thing. It fits right into the if/then concept. The Psalmist said in Psalm 119:71, “It was good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes.” (KJV) For the sake of this point, we will liken rejection to affliction. Because we can become afflicted when rejected. Especially when we have lost focus on our path of purpose. Sometimes God is telling us to let go of some things, some positions and some people, so that we can complete and soar in that which He has given us to carry out. What we need to do is hear and obey Him.
- I recently sat in a meeting and listened to names called for a project that I served on for five years. This time my name wasn’t called to serve on the team. The attack on my mind punched me in the stomach. Rejection’s soldiers: sadness, hurt feelings, pride and resentment came upon me to steal my peace. But the Holy Spirit said, “Rochelle, pull out your note pad. Write. Your dissertation essay is due in February; you committed to writing a blog post weekly, and now twice a week. Your book’s planned release is in the spring of 2016. And don’t forget that you still expect me to heal you from these new health issues. Why are you fretting over that team? The season in that area of ministry is over. I told you that earlier this year. Why are you surprised?” Wow! All I could say was, “Yes Lord!” I pulled out my pad and began to write. The ache in my stomach left and peace returned out of the hidden corridors of my mind. It’s truly a blessing for the Spirit of the Lord to correct, comfort and push you toward your purpose all at the same time.
- How has rejection affected you in two-fold ways? Did you cry over that person who walked out on you and you later discovered that they were the bottom of the barrel scandalous? Think about what would’ve happened if you had stayed with that person. Did you cry over that rejected mortgage application, but was laid off of your job 2 months after the rejection? Were you betrayed by a trusted friend and discovered that Jesus is a friend that sticks closer than a brother? Sometimes God will disconnect us from situations and people so that we can walk down the path that He has for us. Did you cry over that rejected college application and 7 days later, you received an acceptance letter with a full ride academic scholarship from the university where you really wanted to attend? Were you denied that promotion just to discover 6 months later that the company eliminated the job title you applied for? Can you see the positive side of rejection, and how it can push you to expand? If your material possessions didn’t expand, your faith in God most definitely should have.
- Failure: We can use failure to push us to diligence. That failed business venture can push us to write out a business plan, and set monthly and yearly goals with steps to reach them. It can push us to put necessary accounting principles and marketing techniques in place. It can push us to learn organizational and delegation skills, and how to accept advice from people with experience in starting a business. As stated by John C. Maxwell, “Good intentions will never take you anywhere you want to go. Only intentional living will get you the things you want in life.”
- You can use failed relationships to cause you to look introspectively at the role you played in their demise, look at your negative characteristics, proclivities, see what draws you, and make some changes. Perhaps you can use a failed college course to cause you to analyze your study habits before you retake the course. Failure has a way of either causing you to have a pity party; or causing you to develop that “I WILL NOT be defeated” demeanor. You shall not label yourself a failure just because you experienced failure!
- What failures have you experienced? Did you learn from mistakes, dust off your boots and keep going? Did you leave the, “But it wasn’t my fault and if only,” party and keep going? If so, that’s one of the good sides of failure. It gives you the drive to press on and see what the end will be.
- Loss: Though loss brings a tremendous void, loss drives a person to either give up on everything or push forward. Some years ago, I lost my dear aunt Lettie who was like a mother/grandmother to me. That loss pained me so. But it drove me closer to the Lord. The Lord told me that I now had to become a matriarch to my immediate family. In other words, He said, “Grow up Evangelist. They need you.” I cried, but baby girl matured through the growing pains. …On June 3, 2014, my oldest child and only daughter passed away. She was not only my daughter, but my confidant and truest friend. When she passed away, I thought I would lose my mind. It’s been a long 16 months. But this loss drove me closer to the Lord as never before and to finally birth SBTW. Truly, it expanded my faith in Jesus and my belief that God will be your everything if you let Him. It also drove me to stay strong for my grandson, sons and son-in-law; and minister to my daughters peers and cousins who are also yet grieving her loss. The good in this loss is that God has shown me that no matter the situation, He will truly keep me in perfect peace. All I have to do is keep my mind stayed on Him.
- What loss or losses have you met that pushed you to expand? Expand in your faith, in your studying of the Word; in completing unfinished tasks and in fulfilling your dreams?
My friends, no matter what negative experiences occurred in your life, look for opportunities to expand. Positivity meshes with expansion. Especially if you serve God. He will enlarge your coasts. Enlargement involves stretching; and stretching is painful. But joy comes after every stretch as long as you don’t break. Where is God stretching you? Think about it. What negative experiences have you met that caused you to see more clearly how God operates in your life? Where are you expanding? Is it your faith? Is it your relationship with God? Is it your ability to interact with all kinds of people? Is it your patience? Is it your place of pushing out that business, that ministry, that book, that blog, that career, that degree, that community cause? What’s pushing, blooming and expanding in you, ripe for springing forth?
Thank you for joining me in our Thursday Thoughts. If you have comments, or just want to share insights of how negatives fuel positive expansions, please feel free to leave your comments. I’d love to hear from you. We will talk again in our Monday Moments of reflection.
Originally posted 2015-10-22 14:02:58.