You know the person in your church I’m talking about. He’s always negative (and, of course, the person could be female, but I’ll use the male pronoun for this post). He sees nothing positive about anything, and you just don’t want to be around him. Sometimes, though, it’s wise to think about reasons this church member might be negative – so you can pray more intentionally for him.
- He’s not a genuine believer. He probably thinks he is, but he may not be. He acts lost because he is lost.
- He grew up with nothing but negative. Occasionally, I’ve met the parent of one of my negative church members – and it all began to make sense. It’s hard to change patterns when that’s all you know.
- He’s dealing with ongoing sin. In the secret areas of his life, he’s daily losing a battle to sin—and he’s too prideful to tell anyone. His guilt comes out as negativity.
- His home life is a mess. Maybe he’s the primary cause, but either way, his struggles at home color everything else.
- He’s never really been discipled. He might have been in church every weekend for decades, but no one’s ever pushed past his negative to walk beside him as a Christian brother. He’s really still a baby believer—so he acts like an infant.
- He’s fighting against a call of God. It’s amazing how far people will go in their rebellion when they don’t want to surrender to God – and their rebellion affects everything else.
- He thinks “playing the devil’s advocate” is important. That is, he genuinely believes that his negative viewpoint is a way to help the church see (and thus avoid) potential problems in the long run.
- He has never been forced to face his attitude. Sure, people talk about him all the time—but no one has cared enough to confront him in a loving way. If they have confronted him, it’s been with the same negative attitude he has; so, the pattern continues.
- He’s never gotten over past church hurt. The wounds of a church can run deep, and the scars can be long-lasting. When you’re still angry (and even afraid of it happening again), it’s tough to see positives.
- His age is having an effect. I’ve seen some of the nicest people I know turn into some of the meanest people I know as age begins to affect their thinking.
Take time now to pray for a negative person.
What other reasons would you add to this list?