Pastor Bob Alderman

First Baptist Church

A young girl asked Santa for a pony one Christmas season. Christmas morning the excited little girl ran to her parent’s room and dragged them from their bedroom, down the hall, past the kitchen and into the living room where their tree glistened brightly. At the exact same time the little girl saw her new pony and shrieked in excitement, her father saw the exact same room and yelled in outrage because all he saw were the batches of “presents” the pony had left on the floor. Both saw the same room but had completely different reactions.

The daughter saw the gift and the father saw the manure.

We are often more like the father than the girl; we tend to see the worse in a situation long before we look for the best.

Why do we seem to always choose to see the negative in others? Why are we consumed by the bad stuff of life when there is so much good?

Here is an example of finding the pony in a conversation with your spouse. Your spouse says, “I would like for you to begin working out.” The “manure” thought is “You think I am fat!” while the “pony thought is, “You’re concerned about my health!” Same statement, two different ways of interpreting it.

Choose to look for the pony in all aspects of your life. They may even mean something stinky, but you don’t have to let them destroy your day! Find the pony!

Trust me, it is much better to find the pony than the manure!

The reality is that when we give into the rotten side of life we are only hurting ourselves and handing control of our emotions and happiness over to the other person. Do not give them the satisfaction! Thank them for the “pony” and move on. The worst that can happen is they will be left dazed and confused over your response.

Here the Words of God given to us through James, “My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.” NLT James 1:19-20

Jesus is a man who looks for the pony in every situation. Jesus can do this because He knows what perfect love, compassion and patience are!

On Mount Calvary, as Jesus was nailed to the cross dying for our failures, He did not give in to the negative; choosing instead to focus on the gift His sacrifice was to us. Jesus could have chosen to wipe us from all existence for our rebellion and sins, but He chose to find the pony of perfect love and gave everything He had so that we might have eternal life with Him.

Jesus should be our example. Look for the positive, focus on the possibilities. Find the pony.

Hear the teaching of Jesus about dealing with those who seek nothing better than to shovel manure over you: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” NKJV Matthew 5:43-46

Jesus taught is to be people of love and compassion regardless of how others act towards us. We are fully responsible for our thoughts and actions; not theirs. Look for the pony!

Remember that Jesus loves you! And so do I.

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