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One of the best ministry tools out there today is the social networking site Facebook. When I log into Facebook, I immediately know whose birthday it is and I can wish them a happy birthday with just a few keystrokes. If there is a congregational activity, we can place it on the congregation’s Facebook page and people are instantly notified. If someone shares some great news about their life, you can simply click the “Like” button to let them know that you are happy for them. For the most part, Facebook is a positive place where friends can connect with each other.

One of the things I like the most about Facebook is that there is no dislike button. There is no feature that allows you be negative about something that has been written on Facebook. If you want to you can be negative, but Facebook provides you no means to do it with just a mouse click. I bring all of this to your attention to pose a question. What would our world be like if being discouraging was not such a readily available option?

The world in which we live is filled with negativity. It seems every time you turn on your television or your radio that someone is tearing someone else down. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that we are in an election season. It seems that these seasons bring out the worst in people. Millions of dollars are spent on ad campaigns just so one person can show how much they dislike another person.

If it’s not enough to see all of the dislike in the media, then just step outside your own front door. From the time we are old enough to go to the playground, there are others who would take the time to tell and show us how much they dislike one another. A friend of mine was recently lamenting on the fact that his three-year-old son has been picking up discouraging language from the neighborhood children.

I believe there is a solution to all of this negativity, and it won’t cost you a dime. The solution is to open our minds, hearts, and eyes to what God’s word has to say on the subject, specifically what the Apostle Paul had to say in the book of Philippians.

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Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV)

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, what- ever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

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The message Paul is preaching is one of positivity. The message was originally written for the saints in Philippi but rings true for all of us here in Pearland and the world over. Facebook isn’t perfect, and there are still things about it I don’t always like; but it doesn’t have a dislike button and maybe there is a lesson in there for all of us.

Be Strong and Courageous,
Paul