I was talking with a friend the other day and we got on the subject of negativity. More precisely, how it affects us on a day to day basis. It seems we are bombarded with negative things on all platforms. The news is just one bad story after another, someone is only too happy to post all their dirty laundry on Facebook, conversations we overhear in the store is all about gossiping about someone else. If I’m being honest, I have been the one supplying the conversation to be overheard. I never really thought I was gossiping, just sharing news about someone and how they are struggling. But as I look at it now, it’s not my news to share and what have I done to help said struggling person?
My friend and I discussed this at length and in the middle of the conversation, I had an image. An image of a sponge. One that is dipped into water and then squeezed out. “We are like sponges,” I blurted to her. “What do ya mean?” she replied. I elaborated on this image.
A sponge will soak up water (or any liquid for that matter). I remember as a kid, I used to love to wash my parents’ cars out in the drive-way. Summer time was for sun, swimsuits, and getting wet, so I would put on my suit, grab the bucket and sponge, then head out in the sun. Pulling the hose out, I filled the bucket with clean cool water. Squirting in the soap and dropping in the sponge, I began scrubbing the car. I circled the car washing windows, mirrors, and bumpers. If the car was really dirty, it didn’t take long before my clean clear water turned brown. When I started this task, I would plunge the sponge into the bucket and lovely clear water flowed from the porous tool and I would swirl it on the hood of the car all the while singing the latest tune blaring from my boom box. After a while, I noticed the clean car was getting gritty with dirt again. What in the world?
My bucket held dirty water! I would have to empty the contents and refill it with clean clear water then continue my task. But ya know what? That sponge didn’t make any distinction between the clean water and the dirty. It just kept soaking up what I plunged it into. It was submerged in clean water at first so that’s what it gave back. Then it was submerged in dirty water and that’s what it gave back. Friends, whatever we are submerged in is what we will give back. If we are surrounded by positivity, we will give positivity. If we are surrounded by negativity, we will give negativity.
My vision wasn’t good as a kid, so I couldn’t see the grit going back onto the car, but I could feel it. When I changed to clean water, the dirt came off again. I paid better attention to the condition of the water after that. We have to pay attention to the condition of our waters. Otherwise our sponges will soak up all manner of dirt and then squeeze it out onto everyone around us. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.”
If we focus on positive things and surround ourselves with positivity, then we will give back positive things. It is just like that sponge. Let others squeeze your sponge and watch the clean clear positivity flow from you! I’m going to change my water and wash the things I have put dirt back onto again. Join me?