Read Proverbs 14
Have you ever met someone who was “pie in the sky”, who thought everything was great and perfect? What about the opposite? Do you know anyone who’s a dark storm cloud? There are so many types of people: some are positive all the time, some are negative, some people are realists, and some are in a fantasy world of their own making.
I pride myself on being a dark storm cloud and a realist, but I will admit that sometimes my rich imagination can get me into trouble. I will find myself drifting off into thoughts and possibilities that aren’t in line with reality. It’s so easy for me to dream of the perfect life without any challenges or set backs. If you’re single, you might dream of the perfect spouse. If you’re married you might dream of the perfect children. We can quickly drift off into thinking about the perfect friendships or co-workers or family. We all have this potential within us and I think this is something Solomon warns us about in this Proverb.
The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends
will be an outsider at their celebrations.
I’ve been guilty of this before. I, like so many others, like easy relationships, the ones without bumps or bruises or problems. I would love to have relationships that are only easy, but that’s not the way life works. Even though I know this truth about life, I still have this nasty habit of pushing people away when things get rough, but I’m thankful for the friends who won’t allow me to get away with it. I am thankful for people who bring me back to reality when I’m suffering from unrealistic expectations.
Good and bad times are both realities of life, it’s how you react to them that matters.
The unfortunate thing about hard times is that they have the potential to strengthen and grow us in ways that the good times just don’t. When you go through something hard with another human being, it’s an opportunity for your relationship to be strengthened. It’s so simple for us to disdain and avoid the hard times because they are hard, but there’s a blessing in them if we’re able to tough it out.
I am usually the first one to cut and run when things begin to go south. I emotionally shut off and distance myself from others, not wanting to deal with the hassle of it all. But, because I do this, I unwittingly eliminate myself from the good times. By running when the things get tough, I resign myself to acquaintances instead of real relationships.
You may not need a reality check in the area of relationships. Maybe you need to change your perspective on finances or work or the future or church. While we’re called to hope and trust in God, we also need to be wise and aware of the realities of life. When we take a realistic look at the world around us and maintain our hope in spite of it, I believe that God is honored. Let’s be positive realists who see the good in others, even in the hard times. Let’s choose to honor God with our perspectives and thoughts, pointing others to him in our conversations and lives.