Do you know someone that exudes so much negativity that you simply cannot stand to be around them? Whether they always find something to rant about on Facebook or Twitter, or they seem to constantly “have an issue” when you’re talking with them, negative people with negative attitudes are everywhere.
Back in 2009 I wrote a post called, Puffers and Poppers. I mentioned that several years ago one of my college professors said, “There are two kinds of people in this world, ‘Puffers’ and ‘Poppers’. The puffers are encouraging and want you to succeed; they constantly ‘puff’’ you up. The poppers wait until you experience some level of success, and then they come along and ‘pop’ your bubble.”
How true is that?
Loving “Poppers” is hard! Can I get an “Amen!” from the congregation? However, as challenging as it may be, it’s necessary because God calls us to love everyone, not just the “Puffers.” Here are 3 Great Reasons To Love Negative People:
1. You have a unique ability to make a positive impact – I love Proverbs 15:1 (NLT), “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” You have the power change someone’s negative tone by simply choosing to use positive words. Though your optimism may not always change someone’s pessimism, ultimately you are accountable for your own actions and attitudes-not those of others.
2. One of Jesus’ disciples was a “Popper” – One of Jesus’ twelve disciples, Thomas, was a “glass half empty” person. After stories of Jesus’ resurrection began to surface, Thomas doubted their validity-he demanded proof. And proof is just what he got when Jesus appeared to him in person. Jesus didn’t ridicule Thomas for his doubt, He embraced it and gave Thomas just what he needed-proof. Maybe instead of of ridiculing people because they are critical, we should learn to love and embrace them, and give them what they need most.
3. You can’t be positive all of the time – Come on, do you really think that it’s possible for you to always see the “glass half full?” Can you honestly say that you never get critical, or wake up on the wrong side of the bed, or just want to throw your iPhone across the room? I didn’t think so. If you are intolerant of negative people and fail to show them love and compassion, then guess what? It’s going to come back to bite you in the buttocks. There will come a day when you feel the need to gripe, vent, or simply let off some steam, and your “peachy” facade will be spoiled. You’ll need someone to accept you at your worst, show you compassion and understanding, and ultimately love you for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
So, who is the one person you know that exudes so much negativity that you simply cannot stand to be around them? Maybe today, you need to simply pray, and ask God to help you love the not-so-lovable. Ask God to help you see the good in them. Ask God to help you see them as He sees them-forgiven. Ask God to help you extend the same grace to others as He has extended to you.
Think about it.