Debbie Downer

One of my favorite SaturdayNightLive sketches was the Debbie Downer sketch.  There’d be normal, jovial scenes of people hanging out and at every turn “Debbie Downer” would insert a random tragic fact that would completely kill the atmosphere. Her friends would try to bounce back from her buzzkilling comments but to no avail – Debbie Downer always wins.

You think I’m going to ask you to prayerfully consider if you’re a Debbie Downer or not. But i’m not. I’m going to tell you that you probably are one…at least to yourself.  How many times have you found yourself in a good/ok situation only to start wondering “how long will this last?” or “something bad is probably going to happen” or “God is going to break me soon…” or “this can’t be real”? Suddenly our good moment turns sour. Is that surprising?  Debbie’s a ninja.

Instead of fully thanking God for our present moment, we start anguishing over the future. The thought of “let tomorrow worry about itself” is thrown to the curb right alongside “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting” and “this semester, i will NOT procrastinate”.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  We’re not given the option to give thanks always, we’re commanded to do it.  What better way to fight the temptation to complain than to actively give thanks?

In my difficult times, this hymn has helped me to fight my downer tendencies and to remember God’s goodness:

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

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