In my experience, we are highly susceptible to allowing negatives to shape our theology and our Christian practice. I will give you a few examples.
1. We allow the person who has no integrity with money and uses the Bible to manipulate people into giving to cause us to…
(a) not want to talk about money in church
(b) not trust church leadership
© not embrace biblical generosity and/or the tithe.
2. We allow leaders who have lacked integrity, who have been sexually immoral, financially immoral or simply dishonest to cause us to…
(a) create systems of church government difficult to find in the Bible
(b) not dream with heaven on better ways to increase the finances of the church
© unfairly “keep an eye” on those in church leadership.
3. We allow a circumstance that didn’t turn out the way we hoped, the loss of a loved one for instance, to…
(a) cause us to stop believing things we once held as true in scripture
(b) no longer pray with faith the way we once did
© reshape how we preach because what we were preaching didn’t work for us the way we said it would.
There are many other examples of this, where we allow a negative to shape our theology and Christian practice. Here is my take:
Why would we allow someone who lacks integrity to high jack our system of beliefs? Why would we allow the greedy person to dictate how we feel about biblical finance? Why would we allow a manipulator to shape how we read scripture? Why would we allow a liar to control how we view spiritual leadership? Why do we create worldly systems to account for the bad seed? Why would we allow the immoral to dictate how we govern our church? Why would we let death steal our hope? Why would we let disappointment override scripture?
We cannot start in our approach with God and Christian practice from a deficit. We must contend in our hearts to always start with believing the best, assuming the best and hope. Otherwise we become cynical, create impossible standards that handcuff the ones who have pure hearts and live with a lack of joy.