Is the steady drip, drip, drip of negativity getting to you?
If you're like me, you're nodding your head in agreement.
If it bleeds, it leads.
That's why "worst-case scenarios" dominate. Commentators go on for hours about "If __, then __ ." Apparently they consider good news sleep-inducing.
(Time to breathe deep and remember again: If it bleeds . . . . )
What if it's real? What if it's close to home?
Sometimes the "blood" is real--and personal. Maybe we face a serious problem or a scary illness. Or perhaps someone we know and love is in a down time and we don't know how to help.
No matter what the situation, you and I still have power to speak hope. To shine a ray of light into the life of a person who feels overwhelmed by life, whether in our family, our church or our community.
How? By sprinkling words of hope into our conversations. After awhile we won't even need to remind ourselves to look on the bright side.
This may not seem like much, but it can be huge
Our words matter. Think of tossing a stone into a lake and watching how the ripples spread.
That same ripple effect holds true with the words of national leaders.
Take President Roosevelt, for example, elected in 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression. Love him or hate him, it took courage for FDR to say in his inaugural speech:
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
No doubt many thought he was mad. Yet his words lifted hearts all across the country and became FDR's most-remembered statement.
The effects of the Depression lingered for years. Then, nine years later, came Pearl Harbor and World War II.
The Brits were already at war and they needed hope, too
They got it from their prime minister, Winston Churchill. His regularly broadcast defiant words put iron in British spines.
Take his slogan, "KBO." That stood for, "Keep Buggerin' On."
That's exactly what thousands of Londoners did during German nighttime bombing raids. I know a couple of those Brits. For months on end they spent every night in the city's subway tunnels, trying to sleep--on benches, on the floor, on the platforms. Every morning they dragged themselves topside and looked around at new destruction and piles of rubble. Then they got to work clearing away the wreckage and burying the bodies of those who were killed.
In Brit-speak, they kept buggerin' on.
Another of Churchill's most famous statements has hung above my desk for years: "Never, never, never give up!"
FDR and Churchill both held out hope that shone as brightly in the gloom as a miner's lamp in a coal mine. No wonder their people clustered around radio sets and clung to every word of their broadcasts.
Hope is as necessary for life as oxygen is for the lungs
Every day you and I broadcast to an audience--our loved ones or people around us--usually one person at a time. Do we more often speak words that lift or do we add to someone's load of discouragement?
Let's be prepared, ready with hopeful Bible verses that reassure. (If they speak to our hearts, chances are they will to another, as well.) Here are three for starters:
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. -Psalm 62:5
Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint. -Psalm 40:31
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13
The Bible is a treasure trove. Why not keep track of verses that speak to you so you can pass them on?
And no matter what comes, let's smile and "K.B.O."