Gasp! You’re having a bad day? I thought Christians were always happy. Shouldn’t you be smiling?
Sometimes it feels like that is what people are thinking when I say I’m having a bad day, but you know what, it’s ok. I’m here to tell you it’s ok to have a bad day. It’s ok to be bummed, it’s ok to be frustrated, it’s ok to be upset. Having a bad day doesn’t make you a bad christian. What matters is how you respond. How do you respond to the bad day? Do you take it out on others? Do you sulk and shut everyone out?
I confess I’m not the best at handling my bad days. I get angry and I get depressed. I’m still learning how to react when things just plain stink.
Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” It’s important to remember this.
So what do you do?
Acknowledge that you are having a bad day. You woke up late. You didn’t have time to drink your coffee. Your kids just don’t want to cooperate today. You did get to drink your coffee but it spilled on your clothes. Your kid spit up on your clothes. You stepped in dog poo. I don’t know what has made your day bad, but I do know it gets better.
If someone asks you how are you, tell them not so good, but don’t let your bad day be the be all end all. Acknowledge the bad, embrace the good. You woke up late, but you got a great night’s sleep. You didn’t have time to drink your coffee, it’s ok you don’t need that much caffeine anyway. Your kids aren’t cooperating, but that stubbornness will serve them well later in life. You get the idea.
You’re not alone.
By the way, I’m preaching to myself here. Full disclosure, my last few weeks have been terrible. I have been under a blanket of depression that made every day a bad day. It seemed like nothing went right and I’ll be honest with you, I did not respond well. I was angry and I yelled at my husband and kids. A few of the days I just gave up and didn’t even try to pretend things were good.
The advice I’m giving you is advice God is giving me. I know it’s not easy and I’m not pretending it is.
Philippians 4:8 says “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
This verse gets recited a lot, but it gets glossed over too. It is so important though. An important step to responding right to a bad day is having right thoughts.
What’s growing in your head?
Don’t let the negative creep in. It will weigh you down and I promise you it will make your day worse. Negativity creeps in and takes root. Negative thoughts are some of the hardest to get rid of and once you think them, they take root and grow. The more you think them, the more they grow and the more negative you are, until you are completely bound by negativity.
But when you have positive thoughts, they grow and they bloom and they spread. Happiness is contagious. Don’t believe me? Smile at someone and say hi. Be genuine about it and you will see results.
When you are having a bad day, don’t ignore it, acknowledge it sucks, but don’t dwell on it. Pray. Give your day to God. Meditate on the good things in your life.
It’s ok to have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, but don’t let that day make you a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad person.