I love being around positive people because they inspire and energize me. And I must be honest and say that I find negative people draining and exhausting. Have you noticed that you don’t see any advertisements for ‘Negativity Conferences?’ Truth be told, most of us are prone to negativity and need help with being positive.
I constantly challenge myself with putting away negative thoughts…they seem to slip into my brain with ease and those thoughts can be stubborn and relentless. The book of Numbers 13 has been a chapter I have visited many times in my Christian life. It is the sad story of twelve spies who go and investigate the land of Canaan. When they get back from their expedition they give Moses a negative and bad report. Their negativity cost them everything! That particular generation of people never entered the Promised Land apart from Joshua and Caleb – the only two who went back to Moses with a positive story. Read the full story in Numbers chapter 13 and 14 for a comprehensive picture.
If you are anything like me, you want to beat this negativity syndrome. So how do we do this? There are three simple principles that you need to apply.
1. Challenge your thought life: It is so easy to look at a molehill and see a mountain. When we are negative, our perspective is colored by our bad attitude. The only way to deal with it is to be honest with ourselves and challenge our thinking. Get an accountability partner if you need to and ask them to challenge you whenever you speak negatively. Someone once said: “Sow a thought and you reap an act. Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character.” It all begins with a thought.
2. Change your thought life: Sometimes it is necessary to re-program your brain. In other words, you need to put new thoughts into your mind. The Bible says; “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” If you want to change your thought life, then you need to be deliberate. Start your day by talking to God and reading His Word. Every single time a negative thought comes into your mind – stop – challenge that thought and say a Scripture verse out loud if you can - if not you can say it silently over and over!
3. Choose positive words: You may be in the habit of responding in a particular way to people. For example, when someone asks you how you are, you may always reply; “Not too bad.” Those are negative words. Take a good look at them - they literally mean that you are not too good. That is horribly negative! If you want to change then start changing your speech. When someone asks you how you are, you could reply; “It’s a wonderful day and I am feeling good.” If you are not feeling great, you could say; “What a beautiful day, and I am sure I am going to feel a whole lot better tomorrow. However, many times our words can be far more destructive than this simple example, so it is in our best interest to watch our vocabulary to ensure that wholesome and positive words come from our lips!
You may think I am trite. I am not. I have encountered negative people who refuse to change. They are not happy and most times are determined to make other people's lives miserable.
I know we don’t live in a perfect world. But we live in a world where God has made Himself known to us. We are surrounded by His creation. Every morning I awaken to a glorious sunrise and I start my day with the thought “God is magnificent…He is in control…I can trust Him.”
Let us wage war on negativity in our minds and in our world. I trust that your life will reflect the radiance of your God who is all-powerful and all positive! Make a choice to beat negativity; it will change your entire day and it will brighten your life!
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,