Fill it With Something Good

Have you ever heard a conversation happening on the other side of the room, and hear your name? You aren’t sure what the context of the conversation is, you didn’t catch any more info, but you know for sure… they mentioned your name.

What happens next for you? Do you think nothing of it? Do you assume they are talking about one of your many many wonderful character traits? Or does your mind start spinning wondering what thing they might be complaining about, frustrated with, or saying behind your back?

I have both heard it said, and seen it witnessed, that most people when there is lack of information, lack of context, or lack of perspective, fill that empty space with something bad.

When someone doesn’t call, we assume it’s because something bad happened to them, or they are mad at us. When someone seems upset because they aren’t as talkative as they normally are, it’s because we said something recently they are upset about. When someone goes to hang out with others and doesn’t invite you this time, it’s a statement they are making about your fall from grace in their eyes.

The problem is, they may have not called because their phone battery died; they aren’t upset, they had to work overtime and they’re exhausted; and they did call you, but your phone wasn’t working properly so you missed the call.

Now I know I am an optimist, perhaps even a hopeless optimist, but I’m not unaware of how life works. Sometimes people don’t call on purpose, get upset and don’t tell us why, and choose not to hang out with us. I’m not making the argument that this never happens… I’m just saying, it isn’t always bad, and in fact, if we’re honest in our assessment of the past, it usually isn’t bad.

Consider for a moment, how many times have you wondered or worried if someone was upset, and they weren’t? How many times have you felt like someone was blowing you off and it was a complete misunderstanding?

Perhaps an easier exercise is, how many times have people asked you if you are upset when you weren’t? How many times have people asked you why you blew them off, and you have no idea what they’re talking about?

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Sometimes we fill the empty space with something bad, because of the simple fact that life is hard, and we’ve been surprised and hurt so many times, it almost feels safer; but we don’t have to live that way.

Technically, we may have options of the kinds of things, circumstances, and examples we could think about… but according to Scripture, we only have one option for what we are to spend our time thinking about. 

It’s not that there aren’t bad things to remember, it’s that we set our mind, and spend our time thinking about the good.

When we set our mind on good, we begin to see good find it’s way to the surface, and it becomes our default thought pattern.

Ultimately, when there is an unknown, rather than filling that space with something bad, we begin to fill it with something good.

Daniel Sabo