I’m wrestling with an attitude problem. No, it’s not the attitude of a surly teenager at the breakfast table, or a disgruntled boss who seems impossible to please, or even the doom and gloomer media riding their own tidal wave of predicted disaster into my house. It’s my own surly attitude that wants to roll up in a ball under the duvet, shun expectations, and type nasty you-think-that’s-bad responses on my cell phone.
Ongoing health problems and extreme cold have kept me housebound for most of the past two months. I realize I need to do something to break the pattern of negativity and low expectations that I have been allowing to creep in like the cold of another frozen grey day.
I’ve heard people use the expression “coming in the opposite spirit” to describe an attitude that does not succumb to the prevailing spiritual atmosphere. This is an attitude that chooses to focus on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable and responds to evil with good.
An example of this is found in 1 Peter 3:9:
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
On a day when I woke up sensing an atmosphere of darkness, coldness of heart, and dismal forebodings, I choose to come in the opposite spirit. I’m going to do this metaphorically here.
The opposite season of year from today is mid-July. I went back to a file of photos labeled July, and chose some of them to post. Then I found some music from a delightful British Gardening show that carries good memories for me. This is the atmosphere I am creating on my blog today. This afternoon I think I shall peruse some online seed catalogues and make plans for the future.
Lord, to my heart bring back the springtime.
12 thoughts on “Coming in the Opposite Spirit”
What spirit-lifting thoughts and photos! Thank you, Charis, and prayers that you’ll continue to resist Satan’s discouraging attacks on you. Spring will come!!!
Thank you, Lois. Feeling better already.
Here’s a question. If hibernating under a blanket of snow is good for the echinacea and good for the bears, might there be an element of it that’s good for us? There’s a degree of it that feels quite natural. Maybe it’s the degree.
I won’t disagree with you. Every analogy breaks down somewhere. For people who love winter sports snow has a different meaning than for someone with mobility problems, for example.
Rest? Yes! And seasons of learning to wait, endure, and prepare? Yes! The rhythms of grace? Yes! Seasons of hiddenness and manifestation? Yes! They are extremely important. I am also learning that our current physical circumstances do not need to automatically over-ride (did you see what I did there?) the ability to see beyond limitations some situations seem to place around us.
In other words, there is a difference between rest and apathy. Trust actually increases the ability to advance through rest. Negativity demonstrates a lack of trust and feeds apathy or feelings of bitter resignation.
Wonderful photos, glorious truth, reminds me of the disciples in a boat caught in a storm. Everything changed when Jesus showed up and the disciples worshiped Him (Matt. 14:33).
Keep up the good writing.
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Thank you, Stephen. Everything does change when Jesus shows up and worship that originates in heaven expands our view when we join in.
Your photos of the flowers are so beautiful, Charis. I’ve had many times when my negativity has send me into a tailspin. I have loosed myself from bitter root expectations and have been meditating on God’s promises to prosper me and to give me a hope and a future. I’m learning that tough circumstances are God’s way to help kill my flesh and give me a promotion. Charis, the light of God is breaking through and casting out all darkness!
Can I just say I love the church of the internet? I have found so many encouraging brothers and sisters in the Lord (like yourself) and so many more resources than I had as a young believer. The light of God IS breaking through and casting out all darkness!
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what a beautiful and uplifting post…
I can relate, as many others can, in getting too comfy with curling up under the covers and never wanting to come out!
this was a great reminder for me…thank you for being so “up front” with your feelings…it’s a blessing to read honest, thought-provoking posts like this…’I tip my hat to you”…you’re a great encourager!
Thank you for your kindness. I used to feel so discouraged that I seemed to be the only one who had less than brilliant feelings at times. Then I met kind people who were transparent and yet positive. What a relief! I will always remember how much they helped me, so I try to do the same. Blessings on your day!
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Great blog. I loved it.
So glad. Blessings on your day!