“Rejoice with those who rejoice…” (Romans 12:15)
When you receive good news or an encouraging word, it seems natural that you would want to
share it with people you care about, so they can also be blessed and encouraged, right?
But…what if the one(s) you want to share with let their “but” get in the way of the full impact
of the blessing? What I mean by that is, it seems like the person you’re sharing your good
news with has a way of adding an element of discouragement to something they’re supposed to
be celebrating with you.
Remember the character, “Debbie Downer”? She ALWAYS seemed to find a way to put a
negative spin on just about anything!
The first definition of the word, “but” is: on the contrary
After so many of these discouraging (on the contrary) occurrences, it can cause a certain
hesitance to even want to invite them into your moment of joyfulness, for fear of them sucking
the wind out of your “sails”, so to speak.
Even though we want people to rejoice with us when we rejoice, it’s important that we take
responsibility for our own emotions, and be careful not to take on the emotional response, or
lack of response from the other person. Unfortunately, even though we may determine to
maintain our joy and peace through such a disappointing response, it can still have a way of
causing our heart to disengage. It can be quite disheartening when your excitement is not
reciprocated or validated by someone you care about.
The person may even start out responding in a seemingly positive way, BUT…then comes that
“BUT…” Why couldn’t they have just been happy along with you and left it at that? Just
because they had a negative or critical opinion of some aspect of your good news, doesn’t
mean it needed to be vented in the moment of your sharing your excitement with them. Just
because we think or have an opinion about something, doesn’t necessarily mean we need to
give it a voice—especially if it’s not positive, constructive or edifying.
Words are used for either blessing or cursing. If you are not intentional to use your words for
blessing, guess what your words are being used for?
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
The main goal in pursuing healthy relationships is connection. It is so important for us to be
mindful and intentional to facilitate an environment, with our relationships, that is safe and
honoring to one another. We definitely want honesty in our relationships. However, we also
need to pay attention to our thoughts and be honest with ourselves as well, which sometimes
requires us to ask ourselves hard questions, like, “is my opinion going to build or tear
down…honor or dishonor…encourage or discourage…connect or disconnect…etc.?” and
sometimes the answer is not what we want because maybe we want to passionately speak our
mind in that moment. But, if we’re truly pursuing connection in our relationships, we need to
place more value on guarding hearts by guarding our tongues. If we desire connection in our
relationships, the “but” does all “BUT” connect us. It all comes down to what we value more,
the other person’s heart or voicing our opinion. It’s time our pride takes a backseat to honoring
those we love and care about. Is the interjection of your opinion really worth the risk of a
disengaged and disconnected heart? I hardly think so.
So, consider this:
If the goal in your relationships includes connection, you may want to think twice the next time
you’re tempted to show your “but”.