Saturday, August 13, 2011

Are You a But Nazi?

Their immediate response to any thing presented before them or anyone else within earshot is a "but". No matter what there is a perfection never achieved (in THEIR mind) of the given situation whether it involves them or not. And in fact, they seem incapable of not imparting their opinion in these instances. Its like they have diarrhea of the mouth. Yeah, that pun was intended :)

For some reason the But Nazi feels the need to point out what is lacking, what needs to be different, that if we think this is good they know how it could be better - the way it should be. They may think they can argue that hey, they're simply pointing out the 'reality' of the situation. Pointing out the 'facts'. They're 'just sayin'?'

Don't be fooled. If this is you, you are a But Nazi.

I can be honest with you here, right? Ok then. I really dislike dealing with the ongoing, ever present negativity of a persistent pessimist.
Because they can bring me down if I'm not careful.

We each have so much influence over one another. And the fact that someone wastes my time consistently pointing out whats not ideal about their situation or mine really burns my toast to be honest.
Don't get me wrong, we can share our concerns, our burdens if you will with one another. We should. We're here to hold one another up. But in holding one another up and sharing what we feel we are also to glorify the Father and what He is doing!
And when its constantly the opposite of that, when there is never a conversation that isn't perpetually peppered with them poo-pooing everything in some way, that is a person I really begin to dread seeing. I want to turn and head the other direction.
Yep, I just typed that. Because its true. You know what I'm talking about even if you are the But Nazi in question - because no matter how negative you may be you cant stand to hear someone else be that negative!

They say that misery loves company.

I totally understand the need to commiserate - heck, I need to as well from time to time. But Proverbs 27:17 says that "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend."

I get exhausted by anything else. By the "Buts", the "what ifs", the "if onlys". To be honest, the But Nazi is offering a disservice to drain their friends emotionally all the time with the need to look at the down side of everything.
And the But Nazi never sharpens anyone - they dull the blade, pour water on the fire of passion, and honestly they are admitting that they don't listen. That what wisdom or encouragement their friend tries to offer them doesn't matter. That what the But Nazi thinks is more important than what their friend thinks.

That kind of gives me an icky feeling in my stomach, you?

There is a verse in that same chapter of Proverbs that you don't hear commented on near as much... Proverbs 27:11 says "Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad. Then I will be able to answer my critics."

Fill those up around you with joy, with the silver linings, with the reminders of the good that is, the brighter side of life, with the blessings that are there each day in each thing. Because when the disasters come, when the tough things that really truly do matter in the grand scheme happen, when the critics are shouting - wouldn't it be much more glorifying to your Creator to have your words be the ones that ring true in the hearts and minds of others that point directly to a God who is sovereign and is truly "working all things together for the good of those that love the Lord'?
They simply don't ring true if in your daily life you don't walk out the fact that you believe that.
Before you get upset with me, I say this because I have had times in my life when I was the But Nazi. I never want to become that person again. I didn't like me then. And I know that I can tend to take on the temperament of those around me. I want to protect myself and others around me.

Let's choose to "Make their hearts glad each day". Let's be one that our friends will run to when times are hard, because they know after we listen with sympathy and understanding, that they can count on us to sharpen them and lift them up. Because they know we will point out what they have to live for, we will remind them that the unexpected rain of the day just helped cool things off, that God is using the trial to strengthen them, that the day may not have ended the way they thought it would but because it didn't they encountered someone God intended for them to. And they will believe it because we walk out what we talk.
Our motto?

Be Joyful on the Journey