Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me...everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:9)
A pastor in Kansas City, Missouri, realized he could not ask his people to imitate him without initiating a lot of negative talk. And so he set a goal for himself. He was going to go twenty-one days without saying anything negative. To track his goal, he placed a bracelet on one wrist. Anytime he caught himself saying something negative, he would take the bracelet off, place it on the other wrist, and begin his count again. It proved to be a simple system...but not easy. He finally did it to twenty-one days, but not before breaking three bracelets and watching nearly three months of his life pass by! Three months to reach twenty-one days of pure positivity.
Today's devotion is sort of one big Action Step. Paul concludes his lesson on thought life and unity with an exhortation to imitate him. How great would it be to have the kind of countenance and reputation where we could say to other people, "Do what I do," and not have to worry one bit about the results of that?
If you choose to take this challenge, there are a couple of things to consider. What you are undertaking is a promise to speak blessings rather than curses. Speaking a blessing over a situation is not the same thing as condoning it. To speak a blessing is to find the good (whatever is true, lovely, right, ect.) and give voice to it. You do not need to change your stance on a friend's unholy relationship, in other words, in order to stop bathing everyone around you with your negative views on it.
Speaking truth is not the same thing as speaking negatively. Again, let's look at the friend who is in an unholy relationship. To tell her privately her decisions are not right in God's eyes is not the same thing at all as speaking negativity. Your convictions can be spoken with complete grace and truth without an ounce of negativity present.