“Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community…” Ephesians 4:29 (CEB)

We are moving into a New Year! Believe it or not, 2024 is now upon us. There is so much to look forward to. There are also things to leave behind!

For starters, we might consider leaving behind Spite. Spite is a desire to hurt or offend someone. Author, Isabel Wilkerson, once said, “Spite does not pay. It goes around and misses the object that you aim and come backs and gets you.” Spite is not a pleasant way to go. It can show how small we can be. With spite, we decide to make someone look bad. We use social media and whatever measures we have at our disposal. We might say we are doing something on principle, but many times it is spite. Let’s consider leaving behind spite in the New Year.

Beyond spite, let’s contemplate leaving behind Cynicism. A cynical person has negative opinions about other people. They believe that people only do what they do for their own self-interest. They see the cup half empty instead of seeing the cup half full. They are negative. Instead of being cynical, might
we listen to others! Might we consider what others have to say to us! There might be a very good reason people do what they do. Taking the negative side
on an issue is never a pretty way to go.

Finally, might we ponder leaving behind Sarcasm! Sarcasm is using irony to communicate the opposite of the surface meaning. The intention is often a desire to use humor to mock someone. Legendary comedian Don Rickles made a career of being sarcastic. The characters, Chandler Bing (the late Matthew Perry), on Friends, and Charlie Harper, on Two and Half Men, were known for their sarcasm. We could laugh at them, but in real life this way of life gets tired. Our aim in life should be a desire to build up others not tear them down. Might we lay aside sarcasm in the New Year!

Moving forward, there is so much good we can do. Let us build up those around us!

Peace and blessings, Scott