Jerry was the kind of guy who always seemed to be in a good mood. When you'd ask him how he was doing he'd always say, without fail, “If I were any better I’d be twins”. One day he was asked why he was always so chipper.
Jerry responded by saying, "Each morning I wake up I can decide to be in a good mood or a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood."
He continued. "If something bad happens to me, I can choose to be a victim or learn from it. If someone complains, I can accept their complaining or point out the positive side of life to them."
One day Jerry's positive outlook was put to the test. He inadvertantly left the back door to his store open and was shot by a pair of armed robbers.
Jerry was in surgery for 18 hours and spent weeks in intensive care before returning home.
When asked about the event and what was going through his mind as he laid in a puddle of blood after being shot, Jerry said, "The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the door."
Jerry continued. "The second thing that went through my mind was I had two choices. I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live."
"When I got to the emergency room I was kind of worried," Jerry said. "By the looks of the faces on the doctors I knew it couldn't be good. I knew I had to do something fast. When the doctors asked me if I was allergic to anything, I said "bullets". From that point on they operated on me as if I was alive, not dead."
Each day we have a choice. As Christians we can choose to be contagiously positive or we can be lazy or negative.
Today we will look at the common characteristics of contagious, positive Christians and what we can do to join them.
Let's say that you owned a bank account that had $86,400 deposited into it each morning. The only catch with the account would be that you had to spend the money that day. It wouldn't accumulate. What would you do?
I don't know about you, but I'd be spending some money.
Each day we are given 86,400 seconds with which to live. After they are used they are gone forever. They can't be saved or put away for later. What are you doing with yours?
One of my favorite poems was one Bear Bryant used to carry around in his wallet. It went like this:
“Today is the beginning of a new day, God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is very important. Leaving something in its place I have traded for it. I want it to be a gain, not loss, good not evil, success not failure, in order that I should not forget the price I paid for it."
Did you know it takes 43 muscles to frown, and only 17 to smile?
Happiness is one of the common characteristics of contagious Christians. They are also intelligent and popular.
We all learned at an early age that griping doesn't get you far. On Sesame Street, Oscar the Grouch was perhaps the least happy and popular guy on the block.
Ecclesiates 2:26 tells us “To the man that pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness…”.
Contagious Christians are also content Christians. They are happy with their lot in life. They are happy with their wealth, their jobs, their families, where they live and what they do.
Contagious Christians are also busily engaged in work of Lord.
- Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
There are some simple things you can do to become a contagious Christian.
- Hebrews 10:23-25
- Church attendance, youth group outings, devotionals, encouraging others to attend services and focusing on others' needs are great ways to "get the bug."
- James 2:14-19
- Faith Without Deeds
- Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
- If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. – Growing Tree
- Limit Satan’s influence
- Philippians 4:8
- Music, books, television, make yourself better
- Be in the word
- Psalms 119:9-16
- James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore let us encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
When you get the urge to be negative or be in a bad mood, remember this:
- There are real people with real hurt that cross our paths every day.
- Young people who have lost parents to cancer, suicide
- Active man who had both knees replaced and has undergone painful therapy
- Numerous members of this body who have buried loved ones
- Young pregnant lady who is on doctor-ordered bedrest for the next two months and can only get up 30 minutes a day
- Young people whose parents have had absolutely no contact with them in months and in some cases many years
- Student at White House lost everything when house burned to the ground
- Girl in Bowling Green, KY who waits each day wondering if someone will come that day to adopt her and give her the home she’s never known.
- Young people whose parents not only don’t support them coming to church but actively discourage their attendance and try to tear down their faith
- Lipscomb student who was engaged to be married last night in Nashville lost his fiancee in a carwreck last weekend.
Phone call, handwritten note, visit
So busy encouraging others won’t have time to complain.
Being a contagious Christian can only make us feel better. The feeling we have when we give and expect nothing in return is probably as good or better than the feeling of being on the receiving end. It’s so much easier to be happy and encouraging than to be negative and carry a grudge.