Realist, in Pessimist’s Clothing.

In going through the new member process at the church I have been a part of here in Nashville, I came to realize I am quite the little Miss Negative. There was a type of personality test that is taken in conjunction with the spiritual gifts assessment. I have always said I am a realist. Seeing reality in situations instead of a optimistic or pessimistic stance. However, this test says I look at things with a very critical eye.

Yikes, that one stung a bit to be honest.

Then I took a step back and realized that I do. I will look at situations and see the very worst outcome imaginable. I have done it since I was a kid, looking at an opportunity to expand in some way and see only that I could break my arm. Yet I would still go for it. Now that looks very different on me, more like a naysayer than an opportunity grabber. It bothers me to see that for myself through something as simple as a personality test.

It’s made me stop and look at interactions and relationships, as well as circumstances in which I immediately think the absolute worst or the negative interaction will come to fruition. Does it? Not always. That’s when I really sought where this stemmed from internally and why I choose the path of most resistance. That’s where I find I am not praying and trusting in God to guide me or the situation or relationship at all. I am simply relying upon my own fallible self, or another, and that’s where the negative lies. I was fully trusting that I could manage the situation or the person for the best possible outcome, while seeing the worst in reality.

That’s not what trust looks like. That’s definitely not the image of faith. That’s the image of self. A human, flawed and fallen self, reflected onto every instance and every relationship. Psalm 37:5 has been a verse I have come back to this summer, and it was one that when I first read it (again) this summer asked “Did you know that was in there?!

Commit your plans to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this.

It won’t all be roses, sunshine and happiness. It will be times of negativity, but most of all it will be fully trusting it all and committing it all to the Lord. To me, that is nothing but hope.

We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May Your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in You. -Psalm 33:20-22

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