Excuse Me…Are You Contagious?

Aug 31, 2005

Some of my best friends have three children under the age of four. (They have obviously read the Song of Solomon!)

From time to time one of the kids gets sick, you know, a cold…or a stomach bug—all kids get that stuff. BUT inevitably it seems that when one kid gets it…sooner or later either one of the others, or at times even both get it as well. And then at times the parents are also infected with the “kiddy disease” of the week…and then there have even been cases where the parents come back to the office and someone who works with them gets it—it’s one of the craziest things I have ever seen!

Bottom line—the kid that started it all was contagious…and whatever he or she had made its way through a lot of people.

I think there is a lesson here…

Whether you want to believe this or not—we are ALL contagious in one way or another. Think about it—there are people in your life that you LOVE to be around…and then there are those people you meet that you would rather stick your head in a blender than to have a conversation with them.

Why is that?

I think, that for the most part, it has to do with the other person’s attitude…you see, we are all contagious!

I love being around positive people—go getters, people filled with energy and passion. People with a “we can do that” attitude. I was in the gym the other day about to pass out on this machine I was doing. It was one of those workouts where I was about to just give up…but all of a sudden I heard a guy behind me saying, “Come on man, you can do it—push it.” That pumped me up & I was about to thank him when I finished…until I realized he had been talking to himself—not me! But it didn’t matter—his passion for himself drove me!

It happened last week as I met with a dude named Gary, a pastor in Georgia. He posted some nice things about me on his BLOG; however, I got more out of the meeting that he did—I promise. You know why? He wasn’t a pastor on the brink of climbing to the top of his church and jumping off. No way man, this dude was on fire—and when you hang out with on fire people, well, it causes you to sizzle a little as well.

It happened last night as I spoke to my friend Terry on the telephone. Terry just became the campus pastor of one of Fellowship’s satellite campuses…and the dude is on fire. He was telling me about some of the things going on out there & how God was working…and I just about could not go to sleep last night. I was up at 4:50 this morning ready to go. Once again, Terry is on fire and that is contagious.

On the other hand—people can be contagious in a negative way as well. I have heard it said that many churches have a “cold water committee” that will extinguish any fire that has not gone through the proper channels. Don’t you know those people—the ones who are saved but look mad about it?

I will be honest—I steer clear of negative people…I have to. Why? Because they are contagious…and in the race that has called me to run I do not need anyone around me telling me that I cannot finish what God has called me to do.

I have also found this to be true—negative people tend to seek one another out. Hey folks, water seeks its own level!!! What is unfortunate is that many times a group of these people will begin to trap a pastor or a leader and say, “You know, a lot of people have been saying…” I always stop the conversation right there and ask for a specific number of people AND who they are…and if the person refuses to give that information then I dismiss them as a negative person and end the conversation right there. I simply do not have time for that!

So what type of person are you? How do people view you…positive or negative? Is the glass half empty or half full? I have made a discovery—people want to be around positive, affirming people…no one hates to hear, “great job” or, “I am glad you work here,” however, people do not like being around those who tear them down…unless they are one of those people as well.

You are contagious—what are you spreading…and is it good for people to be around you?