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Tag Archives: pessimism

A Rare Jewel

In a November 2015 Forbes article, the red diamond was the most expensive jewel, worth one million dollars per carat.  Meanwhile, True Facet claims the rarest jewel when its available is jadeite, costing more than three million dollars per carat.  Yet, one of the most famous jewels is the Hope Diamond due to a curse which followed those who possessed it resulting in several mysterious deaths.

Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel, Proverbs 20:15.

While contemplating his own collection of wealth, King Solomon overlooked one rare jewel.  This unusual site involves individuals who provide encouraging and positive words.  These nuggets within conversations often uplift those who hear it.  Based upon the context of the passage above, it appears that even in the days of the Old Testament negative tones filled the local marketplaces.

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, Ephesians 4:29.

Depending upon your current environment at home, school or work, speaking words of knowledge can be difficult.  Overcoming waves of pessimism is a tough task, taking many under its current with each crashing remark.  In view of this climate, the apostle Paul urges his readers to rise above today’s culture of criticism.  Instead of joining the crowd to jump on the pile, change your tune by expressing beneficial comments.  In the end, you will avoid grieving the Holy Spirit by seeking to become a rare jewel with holy lips.

by Jay Mankus

An Attitudes Impact

In the ESPN 30 for 30 entitled, the Gospel According to Mac, former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCarthy recounts his quest to bring the Buffalo’s a national championship.  One of the overriding themes involves learning how to motivate each player who respond differently to criticism, failure and mistakes.  During the second hour of this 2 hour documentary, the founding of Promise Keepers is covered through a series of clips from old speeches.  One excerpt includes a quote on attitudes, claiming a person’s attitude is four times more important as their overall talent.

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, Philippians 2:14.

Attitude is one of those qualities which usually remains hidden until adversity arrives.  However, in the heat of the moment, pose is tested.  Attitudes are directly proportional to feelings expressed through body language and words.  Depending upon the individual, stored up emotion can explode, unleashed in the form of complaints, gossip or pessimism.  According to the apostle Paul, this is nothing new as attitudes can impact a group, family or an entire neighborhood.  Like a vulnerable forest in seasons of extreme drought, any spark can trigger devastating fires.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5.

To overcome this potential threat, the apostle Paul believes the cure to this condition lies in the obtaining a specific mindset.  Despite being the son of God, Jesus became humble taking the nature of a servant.  Jesus set the model for what attitude should resemble.  However, this isn’t something you can do on your own.  Rather, transformation begins with faith by grace.  When you place your trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit serves as a counselor to fashion and mold your attitude.  The end goal is to acquire a Christ like mindset.  This may take a life time to achieve, but an attitude’s impact can alter lives for eternity.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Absence of Discipline

One of the definitions of discipline eludes to a branch of knowledge.  Similar to higher education, discipline is self-taught or prodded through some sort of accountability relationship.  This concept involves dedication, hard work and strict training.  For those who commit by developing daily routines usually experience blessings, success and wealth.

For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly, Proverbs 5:23.

On the other side of the spectrum, you will find apathy.  Those who indulge in this behavior will go through periods of complacency.  The by-product of this decision causes individuals to lose sight of their goals, living day to day.  Subsequently, vision for the future slowly disappears as depression, laziness and hopelessness take over.  This is what likely inspired Solomon to claim the lack of discipline will lead to death.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline, 2 Timothy 1:7.

If you have found yourself in a steady decline recently, the apostle Paul provides a message of hope.  The Holy Spirit was sent by God following Jesus’ ascension into heaven to empower those who call on the name of Lord.  Therefore, don’t allow a spirit of pessimism to reign within you.  Rather, claim the promise in the passage above so that you will escape an undisciplined life.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Why Does This Surprise You?

In this age of pessimism, few believe until they experience, see or taste success.  Sure, there will always be individuals with egos, pride or talk a good game, but backing up words is a different story.  Confidence is like night and dark, drastically altering the outcome of a day, performance and productivity.  Therefore, when a new star is born, why does this surprise so many people?

While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade, Acts 3:11.

High profile and professional coaches tend to be annoyed during press conferences after media members are astonished by one of their players accomplishments.  Not privy to all the workouts behind the scenes, athletes in the right system can excel over time.  Thus, whenever an average or middle of the road talent comes out of no where, skeptics automatically think, they must be cheating or taking performance enhancing drugs.  Though this may true for some, aren’t miracles still possible?

When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? – Acts 3:12

As an apprentice of Jesus for three years, Peter witnessed miracles every day.  Like an ad campaign, the masses flocked to this man wondering, “what will Jesus do next?”  Perhaps this might explain Peter’s reaction to his first public miracle following the Day of Pentecost.  Miffed, Peter turns to the crowd gathering at the Colonnade, “why does this surprise you?”  Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter tried to remind those in attendance that with God all things are possible.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you, John 15:7.

Reflecting back to his training as a disciple, Jesus urged his followers to stay connected with God.  Like a power supply, remaining plugged in enables believers to reach new heights.  Therefore, when God answers a prayer, supernaturally provides or does a miracle in your life, don’t be surprised.  Ultimately, greater is He who is in you and than the One who is in the world.  May this blog strengthen your faith and inspire you to trust in the power of the Lord.

by Jay Mankus

The Power of Positivity

In episode four of Project Afterlife, the power of positivity is credited as one of the main reasons for Dean Braxton being brought back to life.  Afraid that negativity might cause family members or friends to lose faith, Dean’s wife Marilyn surrounds her dead husband with encouraging words and prayer.  This spiritual warrior mentality, never giving up, eventually led the man that she loved to be resurrected.

Jesus said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him, Matthew 9:24.

As a coach of nearly twenty years, I’ve witnesses teams collapse due to a spirit of doubt.  All it takes is one key individual to become consumed with pessimism to turn the tide of a game.  Following a bad inning in the field two seasons ago, I called my baseball team into the dugout.  The body language displayed signaled the game was over, yet it had just begun.  Looking into the eyes of these boys, I asked “do you believe we can win?”  After hearing several no’s, I threatened to forfeit the game.  Negative minds kept this team from tasting victory.

Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live, John 14:10.

Whether you’re in school, working or retired, no one is immune from negativity.  This mindset can be contagious, contracted by oppressive parents, bossy siblings or Debbie downers.  If you’re not careful, you might join their misery or be brought down, sucking the life out of a room.  To avoid going down this road, its essential to clothe yourself in the fruits of the spirit.  Even when environments can be suffocating, the Holy Spirit has the ability to pierce the darkness through the power of positivity.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Don’t Be Afraid… Just Believe

A little over a year ago, I laid in an emergency room, surrounded by doctors, interns and nurses ready to perform an unusual surgery.  Before receiving drugs to kill the pain and put me asleep, a part of me thought, this could be the end.  Gasping for breath with two broken ribs, a collapsed lung and internal bleeding, my faith was waning.

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” – Mark 5:36

When in the presence of doubt, pessimism and unbelief, Jesus remained positive.  Instead of accepting the inevitable, Jesus took faith to a new level.  As a twelve year old girl passed away, Jesus removed everyone from the house except for the girl’s parents and his inner circle, Peter, James and John.  This set the scene for an environment for healing.

He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”) – Mark 5:41

Depending upon your current situation, complainers, whiners and skeptics abound.  If you’re not careful, these opinions can spoil your mood or poison your mind.  As Tin Cup, played by Kevin Costner once said, “everyone will face defining moments where you can define the moment or the moment will define you”  When these days and situations arise, follow in the footsteps of Jesus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe!”

by Jay Mankus

Delight or Affliction?

Tired of negativity and pessimism within society?  Ready for the tide to turn in your direction this year?  Well, the answer can be found in the center of the Bible.

If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. – Psalm 119:92

The various distractions you encounter can easily shift one’s attention away from the positive aspects in life.  Thus, the saying misery loves company becomes a self-fulfilled prophecy.  If minds continue to dwell on afflictions, the desire to live will fade, resulting in a state of pity heading toward the road to destruction, Matthew 7:13.

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. – Psalm 37:4

However, if you begin to cling to the promises of the Bible, drawing near to the Lord, affliction will be replaced with peace, Job 22:21.  While you can’t control the hand you are dealt in life, you are responsible for your attitude.  Therefore, you can choose to embrace God’s laws or endure affliction.  May your feet find the path that leads to delight.

Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. – Psalm 119:35

by Jay Mankus

What Did You Expect?

Eleanor Porter’s book Pollyanna was first published in 1912.  Nearly 50 years later, Walt Disney brought this little girl to life in the form of a movie bearing her name.  In a world of pessimism, Pollyanna saw circumstances through rose colored glasses, focusing her attention on the good things in life.

Seventy years wiser, Pollyanna’s are nearing extinction, killed by negativity.  Instead, a new age is dawning, starring, “What did you expect anyway?”  Debbie downers have set fire to optimism, extinguishing hope with self-fulfilling prophecies of failure.  This attitude is breeding a generation of despair, void of expectations.  The blame game, put downs and trash talking are leaving the masses to settle for mediocrity.

To escape this mentality, one must arm themselves with the mind of Christ, 1 Peter 4:1-2.  Sometimes debating others until you are blue in the face is a waste of time.  Rather, rid yourself of negative influences, Colossians 3:8-10, replacing these with the practices of Jesus, Colossians 3:12-15.  Although you won’t have many fans along the way, be doers of the Word, not doubters, Matthew 7:24.  In the end, through thick and thin, you can expect a room in heaven, John 14:2.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

Vanishing Point

In a world fueled by controversy, negativity and pessimism, its easy to lose sight of the positive.  Affirmations, encouragement and uplifting words often vanish from memories, erased by daily criticism that wound hearts.  This isn’t the only thing to recede, disappearing like the tide going out to sea.

Despite this harsh reality, there is one truth that never vanishes.  According to Psalm 139:13-16, you were knit together in your mother’s womb.  In fact, Jesus takes this one step further, reminding Nicodemus of God’s perfect plan.  According to John 3:16, the expression “so loved” in the Greek refers to from vanishing point to vanishing point.  In other words, before you were born and until your death, God’s love extends throughout time.

When idividuals become aware of this aspect of God’s nature, revival can begin.  Unfortunately, an invisible enemy has blinded the minds of unbelievers, 2 Corinthians 4:4.  All the while, believers are under a difficult kind of attack, pulled in different directions by the world, Galatians 5:16-18.  If this wasn’t enough, the devil is busy stealing, killing and destroying souls.  As the sun sets on another day, don’t allow your thoughts to forget the promises within God’s word, Joshua 1:8, from vanishing point to vanishing point.

by Jay Mankus

When Dreams Fade Away

Children tend to grow up with wild imaginations, dreaming of becoming a doctor, professional athlete or a wealthy entrepreneur.  However, as time ticks away, ambition is often replaced by more realistic goals.  Sure, dreams still exist in your mind, but negativity, pessimism and tough luck cause dreams to fade away from your memory.

A few years ago, I was passionate about completing my first novel.  Before I typed a word, vivid ideas rushed into my head, inspiring my will to complete this May 15th, a deadline for a major contest in Hollywood.  Unfortunately, a long cold spring, filled with racing to see all 3 of my children play sports has drained my desire to do anything.   With May in the rear view mirror, a spark for finishing this book needs to be rekindled before my thoughts vanish.

Sometimes, the Bible seems too good to be true, as readers silently murmur, “yeah right?”  Nonetheless, a weeping prophet writes of a special day in Jeremiah 29:11.  When the day of doubt sets, there is hope of prosperity.  If you’ve lost the will to carry on, don’t quit yet.  Cling to the promise of Galatians 6:9-10 so that like Walt Disney once said, “one day your dreams will come true!”

by Jay Mankus

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