The very first episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood centers around Daniel’s birthday. He goes to get a special tiger cake from the bakery only to find out it got ruined on the trip home. His dad redirects Daniel’s disappointment by asking him to find something good about his cake. He asks, “What’s good about all cakes?” And Daniel decides that, even though his cake is in pieces, it will still be delicious. Something seems bad, and they turn it around to find something good.
There are so many negative things to dwell on in this life. We consistently hear bad news through the media. Tragedy strikes when we least expect. Friendships end. Jobs dry up. Times can get tough. It’s easy to dwell on the negative and let it eat us up, but we can’t let that happen. Paul says, in Romans 12:12:
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
How many times do we see disciples of Christ find the time to worship and praise God for his blessings in the midst of trials and persecution? Sometimes they even rejoice that they are persecuted, for they take joy in the knowledge that they suffer for God’s sake. I Thessalonians 5:16 simply tells us to rejoice always, and Psalm 31:7 reminds us that, even in affliction, we can be joyful because our Lord is mindful of us.
As Christians, we should never clothe ourselves in negativity. Yes, there will be times and events that will dampen our spirits, that will cause us pain, that will cause us grief. But these moments should not define us. Those times of sadness should be the exception, not the rule. We should be people of hope. We should be people who are looking for something better, people who exude joy and optimism. We should seek the good in this world and be forces of good as well. When something seems bad, turn it around and find something good. Then share that goodness with others around you.