By Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins
“Whatever we dwell upon in thought becomes a reality to us. That which we dwell upon most and strongest is soon realized.” Daisy M. Davis Baum
Why is gossip so destructive? Because it usually focuses on half-truths, incomplete information, and negative perceptions. The bad attitudes that gossip encourages don’t produce hope, goodwill, or joy; and hope, goodwill, and joy are the necessary tools for growth and success.
Instead of believing the worst or expecting the worst, we are much better served by being grateful for what is good, and optimistic about what can still be accomplished.
Of course we talk so much about church growth and vitality because we believe we have a life-enhancing message that will strengthen, comfort, and empower people on their individual journeys. Believing there are many more people who need our positive and uplifting message, we reach out in as many ways as possible to give the message to as many people as possible. As we do this, more and more people will be attracted to the place that shared the message with them, and they will join us and help us build up the community that communicates such good news so consistently. Focusing on the “Good News” builds up the community that is seeking Good News!
Another reason we focus on church growth and vitality is because as we work together to build up the “Body of Christ,” we are also learning how to build up our own self-esteem, our own reserves of hope, our own “mountain” (obstacle) moving faith. As we practice positive thinking, goodwill, generosity, constructive speech, affirmative prayer, and faithful worship as a church community we are learning how to apply these same tools in our everyday lives. As we build up the faith community, we are learning how to build up ourselves.
Whether we are trying to grow or strengthen a business, a bank account, a friendship, a hobby, an intellect, a church, or a sense of self-worth, optimism and commitment are the tools that will help us succeed. Don’t listen to the negative voices (whether from others or from the old “tapes” playing inside your head); listen instead to the message of hope and healing and keep your focus on what is good and uplifting. What we dwell upon becomes our reality, so let’s dwell on growth, achievement, hope, compassion, justice, goodwill, and vitality. Aren’t those the gifts we really want and need in our lives?
Rev. Durrell Watkins, M.A., M.Div., D.Min.