It’s catching!

Deuteronomy 20:8

Then the officers shall add, “Is any man afraid or fainthearted?  Let him go home so that his brothers will not become disheartened too.” NIV

This is a great reminder not to worry … don’t do it because it is infectious!

As I read this verse this morning, the phrase, “misery loves company” came to mind.  When I Googled that phrase, I found that it means pretty much what I thought it did … people who are unhappy want to be around other unhappy people.

But, and this was news to me, apparently, if unhappy people encounter happy people, they will do things to bring them down.

While I had honestly never thought of it that way,  I can see that this is true for worriers.  If I’m worried about something, and someone that I know or love is not, I often have the erroneous perspective that they would share my worry if they just had all the “facts” that I have.  But my “facts” are often (read always) colored by my own perspective … which isn’t always a balanced one.

One of my dearest friends said something so powerful to me this week.  She said, “now, clean your lenses,” and go back and look at this again.  She was right.  I was looking at the issue through a perspective crowded with stress and worry.  Having worn eyeglasses for as long as I can remember, her precious advice provided a mental picture that will stick with me.

In this chapter of Deuteronomy, the people are being given instructions on what to do before going into battle.  If one of the warriors is worried or afraid, he should be sent home so that others won’t become disheartened, too.

This makes a lot of sense to me.

My attitude, good or bad, has an impact on those around me.  I need to think about how to apply this guidance to my own life and to situations that I’m facing.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Deuteronomy, Fear, Old Testament, Worry

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