My Life with God

Toxic Positivity

All the hating in the world won’t make a hater out of me.

Can we claim that? Maybe you don’t like the word hate. Let’s replace it with another word.

  • All the cynicism in the world won’t make a cynic out of me.
  • All the hypocrisy in the world won’t make a hypocrite out of me.
  • Fear? All these people are so fearful. I’m not! People just need to be braver, bolder, faithful.

But if you listen to the person who says he or she isn’t fearful, you’ll find some fear, whether healthy or not. And claiming we have no hypocrisy reveals some hypocrisy. Refusing all cynicism? It’s a nice thought, but you might want to listen to some of your conversations and reactions.

I get the sentiment. We refuse to believe we’re going to be like “them.” Our behavior looks different. Our beliefs look different. Our priorities look different. Or do they? Maybe you wonder what this has to do with positivity. It’s because we claim such things under the guise of positivity. We believe we’re being better, more hopeful, smarter, because of what we’re avoiding. But if we’re not actually avoiding what we think we are, if we’re exposing some of the very things we’re refusing, what good is it to us and others? Positivity needs to be healthy.

We can’t avoid being hateful, cynical, or fearful because we avoid it. We have to foster characteristics that displace them. Claiming you’re avoiding something isn’t positive. Building something healthy in its place is authentic.

Authenticity, especially in your character and faith, is essential.

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