Change Grave Negativity into Joyful Positivity
King James Version subject to Crown Copyright in UK.
Dear hope bringer,
I do not know how many times, too many to count, that I said: "I failed." Whether a test at school, job interview, you name it, whatever I do, I have the natural mindset of failure. In tune with my INFJ personality, I am a self-perfectionist and along with this comes a self-critical spirit. Though one of my spiritual gifts is encouragement, I fail to encourage myself. In short, I have a problem with negative overthinking.
I know I am not alone in this ladies.
I am not sure what it is, maybe if I think the worst I won't be disappointed and there is only room for exceeding my expectations. If I think positive thoughts all the time, won't I be disappointed often?
While this philosophy may make sense to some warped and twisted degree, is this the kind of thinking God wants us to have?
Let's take a closer look at negativity and what it does to our spirits.
Frequently accompanying a negative spirit is focusing on the negative, even when there is positive.
"After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.” ~ Numbers 13:25-29
Okay, God has rescued the Israelites from bondage, parted the Red Sea, fed His people with manna from heaven, and led them to the land flowing with milk and honey which God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and what did the people do? They saw the positive, the fulfillment of God's promise, and say "But." They focused on the negative in spite of the first-hand experiences they had of God's provisions.
How often do we do the same? There are so much beauty and goodness in the world, are we looking at the good, Or magnifying the bad?
Oh, this is so convicting me! I do this all the time. In fact, I did this last Sunday. After attending church, being filled with awe for God in worship, challenged by a message, and energized from serving 1st-4th graders, something minor happened, and I was overwhelmed by negative thoughts.
Additionally, when we are consistently thinking negatively, we are more quick to find faults in and criticize others.
Yet Paul said we are to encourage and lift one another up, not tear each other down with negative criticism. ~ Ephesians 4:29.
Our words have power, so do we want our words filled with life? Or pessimism?
What mindset and language represent the mercy and grace given to us undeservingly by a loving God?
How are others who do not know Christ to know me, as a follower of Christ? As a pessimistic unjoyful and unhopeful person? Or as the bearer of hope and joy?
I'm preaching to myself really good here.
You know the snowball effect? Negativity really snowballs negativity compounding on itself. Negativity can become a chronic condition. This is dangerous to our spirits!
So what can we do about a negative spirt? How can we trade pessimism for optimism?
Let's first establish the root of Christian optimism. We are not optimistic because of what we can see. We are to be optimistic because of what God says and because of Who our God is.
We are optimistic because of the Gospel. The word Gospel comes from the Greek word euaggelion meaning "a good message." We as followers of Christ are optimistic because we know and accept the "good message" of Christ Jesus.
We can know regardless of the troubles we see in a sinful world that one day the world and everything and everyone in it will be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.
Paul provides us numerous reasons why we are to be optimistically set apart throughout his letters. His life to shows unwavering optimism in seemingly undesirable circumstances. Let's look at some of what Paul tells us.
Paul states that we are optimistic because our sins are forgiven. and we have the life-giving Holy Spirit within us. ~ Romans 8:1-2
We know that no matter what defeat we face, we have eternal victory through Jesus. Moreover, we know that our future victory is much greater than the current pain we may experience. ~ Romans 8:16-21. In our greatest moments of weakness, God's Spirit is strengthened and helps us.
Because Jesus, at the right hand of God, is interceding and praying on our behalf we are assured. ~ Romans 8:34. Jesus is our advocate.
Why else are we optimistic? Because God is for us, and if the Creator of the universe is for us, who can win against us - not our struggles and not the accuser. ~ Romans 8:31-34
Two more reasons that we have unwavering hope and optimism, and I feel that these really solidify an optimistic spirit, "all things work together for the good to those who love God," (Romans 8:28 KJV) and nothing can separate us from the love of God Romans 8:39,38. Amen, amen, amen! Sister, doesn't this fill you with joy and peace?! How can we be anything but optimistic?
Paul tells us in Ephesians that we are a new person in Christ Jesus and that we should walk as children of light producing fruits of the Spirit of which one is joy and peace ~ Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 4:20-24; 5:8-9
"If you search for good, you will find favor;
but if you search for evil, it will find you!" ~ Proverbs 11:27
If you want to find the negative it's easy, you can find it all day long, but if you want to find the beauty the reflections of God's grace, you can find that all day long too. And it is much more joyful to do so.
We need to change our worldly perspective to an enteral perspective.
Dear sweet sister, there is so much joy and never-ending hope in Christ. Let's join together and trade our negativity for Spirit-filled optimism.
Yours Truly, LeNae
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