For some reason, this disease tends to be worse on two days of the week—Sunday and Monday. The symptoms are much worse on those two days. During the rest of the week, the symptoms may subside somewhat but are often still seen. If everything is going well, then the symptoms almost disappear. However, at the least bit of a threat that something may not go as planned; the symptoms of this disease come rushing to the forefront and become obvious. The symptoms include things like nothing is right. What we see in the news is nothing but bad. The actions of our co-workers are designed to irritate us. People are hypocrites. Someone intentionally snubbed me. Anything that is said to them is interpreted in the most negative way possible. On Sundays, the symptoms increase to include church specific problems. The music was too loud. The music was too contemporary or too traditional. The preacher went too long. The people were not friendly. The pews were too hard. They expected me to come back to an evening service. They talked about money too much. The list can go on and on. Then Monday comes and I hear the bellyaching from people. Monday comes too soon. I don’t want to get up and go to work. It’s too beautiful outside to go to work. I wish Mondays did not come so often. Monday…uggh!! It’s like Monday is the worst day of the week. We wish the week away by immediately saying on Monday, “I can’t wait for Friday.” Friday is the gateway to Saturday, which tends to be one of those days that the symptoms of this epidemic is fairly calm. Picnics in nice weather seems to alleviate symptoms. Ball games—as long as your team is winning—lessens the symptoms. Sleeping in late is a wonderful prevention of symptoms cropping up.
By now, I hope you have been able to identify this disease. It goes by many different names. It can be called “Negativism.” It is also known as “Complaining” or “Whining.” It causes people to see the negative in everything. In the New Testament, we see Paul in a dark and dank prison writing about contentment (Philippians 4:11). He tells us to be full of joy (Philippians 3:1; 4:4). Peter reminds us that even in the midst of temptations and trials, we are to rejoice (I Peter 4:12-13). The cure for this dread disease is praise and thankfulness. When we are busy praising God for all the great things He has done, we don’t have room for negativism. When we are thankful for what we have, we don’t have time to bemoan what we don’t have. Praise and thankfulness turn our eyes to our loving Father. Negativism turns our eyes away from God.
When we learn to be thankful, we show that we trust our Father. Paul reminds us that the cure for worry is to pray and be thankful (Philippians 4:6). We must be mindful that if our Father gives us great blessings or withholds from us things He knows will harm us, we are to be thankful. Even Job in the midst of all his tribulations remembered to praise the name of the Lord (Job 1:21). Job knew that God loved him and therefore made sure he had all he needed and had nothing negative in his life. Even the disasters were ordained by God for Job’s good and God’s glory (Romans 8:28-29). When we learn that our Father is in control, we learn to not complain. We need to remember that God is God whether we are on the mountain top or down in the valley. Let’s start praising and thanking God instead of complaining and whining.
When we praise God, we join the throngs of heaven!