I have reached a point where I am very particular about what news I watch, what I read on social media (delete, delete, delete!) and what I read in the newspaper. Too often you are bombarded by negativity, not once, but continuously.
While I understand that we need to have a handle on what is going on in the world and our local surroundings, it is getting harder and harder to find an objective piece that is news without an enormous amount of opinion added.
During the past several decades, we have progressed from “just news and nothing but the news” to a lengthy ramble filled with personal opinion and added innuendos to make it more sensational than it ever was. The only objective that I can see is that it increases sales. I find that very sad.
Not only do we see this in the news, but unfortunately, we see it in day to day interactions with others. Are the people you see and associate with positive and uplifting, or does the atmosphere seem weighted down with negativity as soon as they enter a room? Don’t misunderstand me, each of us have bad days and sometimes our circumstances weigh us down, but there are others who never come out from under that cloud. You begin to dread seeing them because you begin to feel as sad, angry or pessimistic as they are.
So, what can we do? Obviously, we can shut off the television and social media and, if we need to, stop reading the newspaper. Our interactions with people are a bit trickier. We can’t always avoid or ignore them. Maybe they have a simple issue that just needs validation. Sometimes, a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear means the world to them. Other times, offering to help them find professional help may be needed.
I believe our mission is to equip, encourage, and energize those that are put into our path. Maybe if we were surrounded by more joy and less negativity, the atmosphere would change. Perhaps the opportunity won’t arise but I have heard from a couple of different wise people that the simple question, “How can I pray for you today?” might make the difference in darkness or light in a person’s life. Isn’t it worth a try? The worst they can do is say no.
I went on a little search for scripture on negativity and came upon this little article by Jack Wellman. With the political atmosphere heating up even more with the election next year, the first one is definitely my favorite.
In His light,
Top 6 Bible Verses About Negativity
Here are my top six Bible verses about negativity.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
It’s hard to be ungrateful when you are giving thanks to God. It’s difficult to notice pain when you’re overjoyed. Like the marathon runner who is hurting all over, he or she is still rejoicing at finishing the race. The runner is not thinking about all that distance, pain, fatigue, headache, or dehydration…at that point they’re celebrating. If you think on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, you’ll have a more difficult time in thinking negatively.
Proverbs 17:14 “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.”
How does strife begin? It often begins with gossip but others are simply divisive people as Paul wrote to Titus “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him” (3:10). Division sometimes comes as a result of quarreling within the church and when division comes, a church can split right down the middle. I have read of many such examples. Better to stop any gossip, quarreling, or strife before it leads to division. If you do attempt to break up a quarrel, remember that “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov 15:1).
Ephesians 5:20 “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
If you are giving thanks for everything, you don’t have time to be thinking about all your problems. A prayer journal is an excellent way to record your daily activities and prayer requests and then look back over time to see just how faithful God has been. It’s best to date them and write out specific names of people or needs you are praying for, then after some time, you can look back and stand in awe of how God has been so good to you and it’ll be completely natural “Giving thanks always and for everything to God.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
What this verse isn’t saying is that all things that work together are good or that all things will always turn out good. The idea is that God can evil use for good (Gen 50:20) and the best example of that is the cross. All things that do happen are “according to his purpose” anyway so why not just trust in that fact?
2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
This is truly a negative for society today because we are so enraptured by charismatic, slick-tongued, sheep-fleecing shepherds that are really only wolves in sheep’s clothing. If you have a need, they’ve written a book about it! If you want blessed, send them some money! They make out God to be a “quid pro quo” God that if you do this, I’ll agree to do that. Many who don’t want to hear the real gospel of repentance and belief (Mark 1:15), which means turning from sin and seeking Christ first (Matt 6:33), seek out teachers for themselves to scratch their egoistic itch. They are being turned away from the truth, meaning they will no longer recognize the truth when they see it, and then they’ll “wander off into myths” of all kinds. These false teachers only want to “suit their own passions.” They’re not in it to change lives, to preach the gospel, or do bear their cross for Christ.
Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you.”
You’re not who you think you are; what you think, you are! That seems to be what Solomon was saying. Whatever a man or woman is thinking of themselves they are or they become. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The man that Solomon was referring to in this case was a miser (Prov 23:6) but this isn’t just about someone who’s cheap. The Hebrew word for “miser” is “ra`” which means someone that is evil, disagreeable or bad. They might think they’re a pretty good person but in reality, they’re like all of us (Rom 3:10-12, 23). The only difference is that we who are Christ’s are now cleared of our sins but Jesus reminds us all that “none are good but God” (Mark 10:18).
Christians ought to be the most joyful people on the planet but some Sundays when I look out at the congregation, some look like they’re waiting for a dentist appointment. Can you imagine being cleared of all crimes you’ve committed and then being freed from prison? Then, you have a place to live that is indescribable (Rev 22) and you get to be with God, face to face (Rev 21:3, 22:4) forever (John 3:16). How anyone can be negative if they are in Christ and sealed for that great day (Eph 1) is beyond me?