2-15-5 A Positive Spirit
Our task of witness may likewise seem hopeless. We need the same positive
spirit of heroism in our witness which Jeremiah and Ezekiel had, as they
reflected the indomitable Spirit of God in this matter of human salvation.
Our unbelieving families, our workmates, our neighbours, seem to be stony
ground to the point that it just isnít worth bothering. But we need a
positive spirit. People are interested. It seems to me that world-wide,
in every country I visit, there are more people interested today than
there were ten years ago. There is interest in our message! And
moreover, I never cease to be amazed that those I think would never be
interested are in fact interested, deep below the irreligious
surface. Itís so easy to have a negative spirit. Are people sincere? Do
they just get baptized in the hope of material help? Can we cope with
so many converts? Wonít many of them leave? What does this person really
believe about doctrine? Can you believe them? Isnít this or that the thin
end of the wedge? This isnít the spirit of the Lordís parable about the
drag net fishermen (note, not fishing with a line for a special, prize
catch- but concentrating on saving as many as possible, of whatever quality,
Mt. 13:47). But there are other questions, more personal. Can we afford
it? Can I, should I, allow my worldly advantages to slip just so I can
do this or that for the Lordís cause? Can I afford to write so many letters?
Do I have time to go to that Bible study? What about giving more time
to revising for my exams rather than doing the readings? Our knowledge
of the positive spirit of Christ means that we donít think like that.
One of the many slanderous allegations against Paul was that he was indecisive
and negative spirited. His response was that this was not so, for the
gospel and Lord whom he preached were so essentially positive, that he
too had had become likewise through his experience of them: ďÖour word
toward you was not yea and nay. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who
was preached among you by usÖwas not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the
glory of God by usĒ (2 Cor 1:18-20). And in that knowledge, let us unashamedly
show forth a positive spirit about how God sees us ourselves, about our
brethren, and in our witness to the world.