Monday, July 25, 2011

The Sin of Negativity

Negativity is a contagious tool of Satan.

James 1:26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.


Have you ever considered negativity as a sin? It's not something that is talked about much, but by mercy it is. It's a biggie. I think it belongs in the same category as worry, gossip and pride. Grumbling, complaining, dwelling on it, thinking "Well if only" or any other multitude of thoughts that could come along with it: sin, sin, Sin!

Negativity strikes before you realize it and it sinks in deep, same with pride, it's very deep rooted.  It settles into your soul like a filter. If you coat a situation with negativity, for instance a new pastor or a person or a general situation, every new thought about it has to be filtered through your negativity.  Does that make sense? 

There are stages of negativity:
1. Bummed over a situation
2. Dwelling over how much you dislike...
3. Sharing with someone how much you dislike...
4. Sharing as topic of discussion with many...

Even if negativity is just on your heart, when you come into a room with it's stink all over you, it's contagious! It's a Sin and it spreads like wildfire!

When you share "gossip" about it (even if you don't as I just said but it's stench is on your clothes) it spreads!

Gossiping about it takes it to a whole different level. When you gossip, even if you get over your negative feelings almost immediately, they have now settled into your spirit. To be brought up again.

You can never clean up a mess from gossip, and you have also planted those seeds of negativity into the hearts of others.

For instance: there have been times that I made supper and a dish didn't turn out how I had hoped. When I tell my husband -who was perfectly satisfied with the dish- how much I dislike it, he is now trying to find out what is wrong with it. Trying to identify with me. Seriously, he has fussed at me for messing up his supper with my negativity before.  Ha! :)  It may not be that way with all husbands about food, but it is with negativity.

They say "Behind every Great Man is a Great Woman".  However, I'd also venture to say, "Behind every Weak Man, is a woman who doesn't spend enough time on her knees in prayer!" A wife who can quickly find complaint in everything. A wife whose full of grumbling, negativity and harsh words.  Just as husbands are commanded to love their wives, we wives must honor, respect and protect our husbands!

Here's the thing. If I tell my mother, yeah that's right-even your mother- I'd almost like to say Especially your mother,  how much so and so hurt me and how wrong they were.  Or how much I dislike something, someone...etc. I could get over it tomorrow and regret my words but it has been set as a filter by which my mother now views this person, and if she has shared that information with anyone else, you have successfully destroyed someone's reputation; even when you realized you were wrong almost immediately, because it is now on their mind filter.

I am blessed to have a very Godly mother who does not take my slip-up's to extremes, like others may, however, it is still wrong for me to run to her every time someone upsets me. It's wrong period, but tomorrow I may be proved very wrong on all counts of my feelings. I'll get over it and she'll hold onto it.
Make sense?

No matter how far she lives from me, she is very tied to my life. She may run into this person at a later time and even though the whole situation is forgiven it is hard for her to let go of it. Do you follow?

It's hard because we have a strong desire to have people identify with us. We have a strong desire to not feel alone or to have our feelings justified.

I am not suggesting us to be martyrs or to "Get over it" or "Put your big girl panties on and move on" or just bury it until it becomes an ulcer.  For me, I have a Godly friend who lives in Texas. She has no idea who or what I'm talking about but she justifies me. She tells me when I'm being too sensitive or when she understands, and I feel better by just getting it off my chest.

Sometimes it is a call to move on. Or, rather,  to handle the situation in a Godly way. Refocus our negativity into productivity. If there's a problem, has God blessed you with a solution? Quit whining and do it.

There are times I have negative feelings I cannot share with my husband. Out of not wanting him to be discouraged, out of fear that I may add something to his mind filter. No, I'm in So much prayer over my husband I dare not place an unwarranted stumbling block in his path.  Don't get me wrong.  I don't keep secrets from my husband but my sour feelings that I am struggling to surrender to Christ. Things that may or may not be true, yeah, I keep it to myself.  We have to be careful not to constantly use our husbands and mothers as our sounding boards. There are times it's warranted, but not until you have a full grasp of what's going on and have coated it in prayer. We have to be careful not to place stumbling blocks infront of our family, which will cause sin in their life.

We need to start recognizing the signs of impending negativity and surrender it to Christ. Pray that the Lord will guide.  Pray that He will transform our negativity into something Holy. Pray for wisdom to know if it's a situation that needs to be addressed or let go of or if we are in the wrong,we have to surrender it at the cross, and not allow our negativity to dictate our lives, and sour the lives of others. Because that's it. Negativity Sours your Heart!

Negativity is a contagious tool of Satan.

Strong words right? Well it should not be taken lightly!  Are you allowing yourself to be used as a tool of Satan?

Philippians 4:6-9
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthythink about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.










 

18 comments:

  1. Wow! This packed a punch! It really struck a chord when you talked about how you can get over something but if you told someone else about it - they can still hang onto it. SOOOO true! AND SOOO convicting! Thank you for pointing this out!

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  2. I love this reminder! So important! Especially this: "You can never clean up a mess from gossip, and you have also planted those seeds of negativity into the hearts of others." Yes!

    Praying your have a wonderful week! So nice to 'meet' you today!
    Melanie

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  3. I really have to agree with this, Melissa. Especially the contagious part. I've found myself dwelling in negative mindset and before I know it, those around me are affected too! Thanks for this reminder to try to be more positive. It sure feels better.

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  4. Amen! Excellent post! We must make the decision to not stew and replay in our minds over and over negative thoughts - because out of the overflow of the heart - the mouth speaks!
    Courtney

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  5. Exactly Courtney. I am glad you mentioned that verse. As I wrote this blog I was trying to think of it. But it states perfectly what I was trying to say here. Thanks! :)

    Everyone else-Me too! This effects my heart alot too. It is amazing how damaging negativity is in every situation- Especially in churches and ministries.

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  6. This is wonderful. Very true and eye opening post. Thank you!

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  7. Negativity IS a sin...I know because it is my biggest sin. It can take over my heart and 'out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." I actually have a speech on that subject!

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  8. Too true! I sometimes complain about our priest's homilies, and my mom always reminds me to stop it! Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  9. I love this post. I can bet we all struggle with negativity at times and it is a daily dying to self to have a positive attitude :) be blessed!

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  10. I love everything you said here, very much agree with you!

    ~Sarah beth

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  11. I appreciate all of your comments! Thanks for your thoughts! :)

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  12. Filled with so much truth! Thanks so much for sharing and taking the time to link it up at HEARTS 4 HOME Thursdays. :0)

    Much Love & Blessings,
    ESTHER
    www.oursimplecountrylife.com

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  13. So true! I find it's easy to realize that negativity has bad effects on a life, but I think we tend to forget the sinfulness of it.

    I love that passage from Philippians. I've been seeing it around the internet a lot lately, and it's such a good reminder. I have it posted here at home, too.

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  14. This is such an inspirational post. I have been working on this character flaw. I actually started a "no complaint challenge." Most days I have done pretty well, especially when I can stay away from fellow "chronic complainers". I find when I am around someone who is complaining, I tend to revert to my old pattern very easily and often without even realizing it. I guess it is like that saying, "Misery loves company." Not being miserable or making someone else miserable with my bad attitude is very difficult for me, but I want to be happy and be a positive influence on the people around me. So I continue to work at and pray about it every day.

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  15. Jennifer thank you SO much for sharing. Oh Yes I find myself hopping into the SAME Boat! Thank you for your honest reply! I'm with ya! I think it's a "Girl Thing" that requires constant surrender.

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  16. I know this is an older post but wow do I feel convicted by reading it! This is worth printing out and keeping in my Bible. Thank you for your wise and helpful words.

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