Really, I certainly love to read.
And although I still prefer good old-fashioned books, I've become a fan of reading essays, books and articles online, too. And I've also grown to love reading comments from people who leave their additional positive thoughts and revelations, thus enriching my reading experience.
But then there are the negative comments.
You know, the unmerciful ones where people, like wolves, rip apart what's been said and how it was said and the people who were written about. Mean-spirited words and religious-spirited words, too, for of course, we all know there's a difference between being truly godly and 'having a form of godliness'. There's being filled with almighty God and then there's being filled with a religious spirit which loves legalism, The Law and flogging people when they make mistakes, real or imagined.
Well anyway, God's been telling me (again... sigh) to leave those negative comments alone.
He asked me, "Since you realize I don't want you to be negative and mean and critical, why would you keep reading words from people who are?"
All that fault-finding stuff wears me down, makes me mad and colors my inside world (and the outside one) all grey, zapping out the light and joy which should be leading me onto new growth and good thoughts and actions.
So note to self: For goodness sake, knock it off. Leave the negative comments alone. You'll be happier--not only because that stuff brings you down anyway--but because you'll be obeying God and obedience opens doors for more joy.
And of course, it all sounds so simple. But sometimes it's the simple things which appear too small to really matter. "Really? Reading negative comments is what's been messing me up?" Or we'll watch other people 'getting away with' what we've been told to leave alone and they appear fine, so did we really hear what we thought we heard? When that isn't what matters at all--what matters is that we obey God. (And mind our own business while we're at it.)
But it keeps returning to this: It's that still, small voice which we must heed if we desire to live the amazing life God desires us to have in Him, yes, even here on this sad, negative planet. For even here, we have Him and in His presence there is fullness of joy. Again, even here on Earth. Even now.
And that--He--makes all the difference.
"They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! " ... 2 Timothy 3:5