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Jesus Never Said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Updated on March 18, 2012

Somewhere the ultra-conservative, right-wing religious-Pharisees are probably shouting something like, “Amen. It may not be popular, but sometimes you have to step in and tell people what they’re doing wrong before they hurt someone, or worse, defile the whole church! One bad apple spoils the bunch!” While at the same time, all the super liberal left wingers are shouting, “You tell those judgmental hypocrites who are always using Jesus to manipulate everyone around them. And while we’re making lists of things Jesus never said, let me add a few…” Jesus never said a lot of things, so why focus on this one? My husband jokingly suggested that I write a list of things Jesus should have said. While it has been a long time since God struck people dead, I don’t want to provoke Him. Instead, I want to provoke you. Tell me, what’s wrong with a little negativity now and then?

Some people say there are three types of people; the optimist, the realist, and the pessimist. Or as I like to think of them; the annoying people, the realistic people, and the depressing people. I know, I know, that wasn’t very nice, but who says we have to be nice right? Not Jesus, wink wink. For years I have been annoyed by those people who are always happy, or at least pretend to be. Again, not nice, sorry, I can’t help myslelf. But not until recently have I wondered why? I am not asking why some people are always happy (I would have to believe that a person could actually be happy all the time to question how they got that way). I am asking why I find clinically happy people to be such a nuisance, after recently discovering that I am not alone.

Last week a good friend of mine shared a touching story about a well known blogger who has been criticized for making it look like raising a child with autism was “all butterflies and rainbows.” Reason and logic would argue otherwise. My friend has been greatly encouraged by this woman’s words, expressing frustration over those who attack such an inspiring mother who has single-handedly turned a challenge into an opportunity. “She chooses to look at the positive side of things. Who could be upset with that?” she asked rhetorically. “Me.” I thought, but apparently I’m not alone.

I am not sure exactly why I get so upset at people who are happy all the time. Maybe it’s that I don’t believe them. Everyone gets annoyed at people who are lying right? Or maybe I think they are pretending to be happy to give off the appearance of perfection. Jesus was perfect and He wasn’t always happy, so why should I be? Or maybe I think they are putting on a happy face so that the rest of us will think they don’t have any problems. Jesus had problems, so why can’t we have problems? Or maybe I think they want us to think they are better than the rest of us because they don’t say mean things like, "You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? (Jesus in Matthew 17:17)." Only the Ned Flanders of this world can tell us for sure if one person can be that happy all the time. But for the tortured souls who are not, your inexplicable happiness is invalidating our pain.

We know you think you’re better than us you Pollyanna wannabe’s. I say this in love, knowing full well that you are the yin to our yang. You’ve chosen the better route, to rise above your pain and find the silver lining around the dark clouds we ‘sinister’ types dwell in. But I’ll let you in on a little secret… we think we’re better than you, because we embrace life like we embrace people, unconditionally, warts and all. Truth be told, pride simmers through both camps, camp Eeyore and camp Pollyanna. Whether you are blissfully unaware, or painfully cynical, just don’t be pridefully judgmental.

Jesus wasn’t always happy, and he wasn’t always sad, but he was always kind. Kindness is characterized by goodness, gentleness, or benevolence. He had our best interest in mind. Even the hard things he said came from a good place. You could count on him to tell it like it is, even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. He wasn’t trying to be nice; defined as pleasing, agreeable, gratifying, and delightful. He was trying to draw us into relationship with himself, which he did by being real. To you happy-go-lucky types, if you really are that happy all the time, more power to you. Just don't pretend everything is peaches and cream if it is not. And to you Debbie Downers, just because you're miserable, doesn't mean everyone else has to be. If we are nice and happy all the time we will have a lot of acquaintances, but no friends. Acquaintances are formed by lighthearted pleasantries exchanged between nice people, but relationships are built by the unconditional love which graciously accepts the other person as they are; no matter how optimistic or pessimistic they may be.


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    • MarieAlana1 profile image

      Marie Alana 4 years ago from Ohio

      Great hub! You noted that, "Jesus wasn’t always happy, and he wasn’t always sad, but he was always kind. Kindness is characterized by goodness, gentleness, or benevolence. He had our best interest in mind." I have been exploring this and the fruits of the spirits recently. I have written on some of these principles and want to share my hubs with you because you are right. In my marriage, we make it a point to speak truth to each other and to tell it how it is. It's a very important lesson.

    • howtobeasuccess profile image

      How to be a Success 4 years ago from The Land of Hope

      Interesting hub,. i would say complete happiness could not be found here on earth so it would not be a surprise why it would somehow be impossible to see a happen person in this world that worries about nothing all the time. Sad times will always come in our life and that part of it...

      thanks for sharing this..

    • profile image 5 years ago from upstate, NY

      Great points, many Christians put on a false fascade of happiness and wear a plastic smile. While this is true, I believe there are also those who consistantly "walk in the spirit", and have a constistant joy in their lives because that's part of the nature of God. It doesn't mean that they don't go through great struggles but in the midst of those struggles is an ever present abiding joyfulness.

      The fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace...

      God Bless

    • Vegas Elias profile image

      Vegas Elias 5 years ago from Mumbai

      I feel you are right. I too feel Jesus never said and did things that are ascribed to him.

      The Roman Monarchy of earlier days has distorted the teachings of Christ greatly. I feel so.

    • Christy Stewart profile image

      Christy Stewart 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      To Ann, you are anything but fake! You are open about your struggles and confident in who you are, using your artistic nature to share pieces of your heart with the world! And we love you for it :)

    • Christy Stewart profile image

      Christy Stewart 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      To teacherjoe, I agree. I too am a realist. The problem is, so is everybody else (or so they think so)! How does a person know which category they really belong to?

    • profile image

      Ann Solinski 5 years ago

      I can do grumpy really well and it is NOT pretty! Besides, every time I'm around you, there is good food, and who wouldn't be happy about THAT, regardless!? But seriously—rather than feeling someone is too happy or too glum, what I really value is in a person is authenticity. It generally takes some time to get to know someone on this level and it can be so rewarding.

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 5 years ago

      Yes there are too many two faced people in the world.They pretend to be happy all the time

      As well there are too many debbie downers.

      I like being around the few, the realists. They are happy, but are not afraid of being annoyed or angry either.

      Good points

    • Christy Stewart profile image

      Christy Stewart 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      I must give credit to Donald Miller who introduced the concept, "Things Jesus never said," to me last week via his blog. Donald, if you're reading, I hope you like this blog as much as I have enjoyed yours!