Thursday, January 22, 2015
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Some of our fun family memories are the days when I would read stories to my kids. And I did my best to bring those old stories to life. I remember one of their favorites was Winnie the Pooh. So we had Winnie the Pooh, and Piglet, and Christopher Robin. And of course, Eeyore. Remember the donkey in Winnie the Pooh? He's the one that usually managed to see the dark side of everything. (Here go the voices, can't help it!) There always seemed to be something wrong in Eeyore's world.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Eeyore Complex."
Our word for today from the Word of God: Nehemiah 8:10. Talking about Eeyore, we probably all know some two-legged Eeyore. The people who respond to the pressures and problems of life by throwing a party - a pity party for themselves. Do you know an Eeyore?
The last time I looked in the dictionary I saw hundreds of words that began with self. But there are few of them as damaging as self-pity. Here's the cure. Nehemiah had been through all kinds of burdens, challenges, attacks. Here's what he said, "Do not grieve. For the joy of the Lord is your strength." This joy of the Lord has nothing to do with your environment. It has to do with your in-vironment.
See, this joy gives the ability to look for God in any situation and ask the question, "How could God use this?" Now you might not particularly like what's going on right now, but you know it had to pass through God's hands before it gets to you. He's okayed it. God wouldn't okay it if He wasn't able to work through this, if He didn't have a purpose in allowing it. Where's He at work here. Focus on what's good about the situation, what could be good. Concentrate on the positive.
Sometimes when I'm tired and I'm stressed, I hear Eeyore coming out of my mouth. Oh yeah, complain, feel negative, seeing the problems. I'm critical. You know, "This could go wrong. This is looking bad. Boy, this is looking pretty bleak." What happens? I make a gray day darker because I'm drag everybody else down with me, with an Eeyore complex. It's amazing how a negative person can be a cloud that blots out the sun for everybody. Play back the tapes of some of your recent conversations. What do you hear? Is it the joy of the Lord? Or do you hear a lot of "poor me" talk?
I remember a day when I woke up early, really depleted. I mean really depleted. I had a marathon schedule ahead of me, like a lot of days. And I decided that day in my first conscious moment I was going to focus on Jesus' strength, instead of my burdens, my schedule, and my weakness. Now, I could have been thinking about my sore throat that day. I could have been focused on the fact I only had three hours of sleep that day. But instead of the negative I said, "No, today I'm just going to keep thinking about the strength of Jesus, not the weakness of Ron." I've got to tell you, I found myself energized for that whole long day by choosing to focus intentionally on the joy of the Lord. I can't tell you how many days there have been like that since. It works! "The joy of the Lord is your strength."
Conversely, I'll tell you, there is nothing that will de-energize you faster than complaining and self-pity and down talk - negative talk. When you look out a dirty window, everything looks dirty. The joy of the Lord cleans that window through which you're looking at everything in your life. Look for the Lord. God sightings throughout your day. Look for His goodness all through your day. Talk up the good things.
Oh, and if you hear the voice of old Eeyore, turn the page.