In Mark 5, Jesus is approached by a man named Jairus, whose daughter is very ill – so ill that this synagogue leader is desperate enough to beg the radical heretic to come and heal her.  They are met along the road by people saying, in effect, “Jairus, your daughter is dead.  Forget it.”  At that point Jesus sends away the crowds and all his disciples except Peter, James, and John.  When they get to the house, the professional mourners are already at work, wailing and weeping.  Then Jesus sends EVERYONE away from him, and goes into the house alone.  He takes the girl’s hand.  He tells her to get up, and she does.  She’s completely healed.

Sometimes, you can’t let people get you down …

Jesus knew what God was going to do in this situation.  His job was to be obedient to what God was telling him, and to do that, he needed to remove himself from negativity and discouragement.  There’s hardly anything that drains the life and joy out of a person, or a situation, more quickly than complaining and negativity.  Jesus needed to be able to focus on God, and not be dragged down by people who were so negative, so sure they were right, that they actually laughed at him when he stayed focused on healing Jairus’ daughter.

Each church always has its share of negative people.  They complain; the glass is always half empty; “we’ve tried that before; it doesn’t work”.  A friend once told me, “Some people wouldn’t be happy in heaven.”  And she’s right!  So in spite of the fact that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, constant complainers and negative people can bring folks down and distract all of us from focusing on the positive: what God has called us to do, and the ways God has blessed us so we can obey his Word and serve him with joy.

Hebrews 10 says, Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hmmm … that’s what our churches are supposed to be like!  Let’s each one of us do our part to help make that happen.  Instead of looking for things to complain about, look for things to give thanks about; and work for peace and unity in your church, so that we may all be Christ’s Body on earth, loving each other and the mission field God has given us.

Rev. Susan Bennett