Guest column

Yes, we can be both realistic and positive

Man smiling confidently
CREDIT: Unsplash
Paul Smith
Paul Smith Paul Smith is full-time elder of Grace Baptist Church, Broadstairs, Kent. He is also a director and the book reviews editor for ET.
22 April, 2022 3 min read

Positivity is sorely needed among believers today. It’s so easy to get sucked into the type of thinking that leaves us dwelling on the negatives.

Negativity can be as much in the pulpit as in the pew. One pastor recently remarked that he’d stopped attending ministers’ fraternals as he was hearing such negativity. Not for nothing did James instruct persecuted believers, ‘do not grumble’ (James 5:9).

But how can we develop positivity without abandoning realism? A permanent show of outward optimism has been somewhat cruelly dubbed ‘evangeli-smile’ Christianity. People don’t want plastic positivity.

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