Negativity is ALL around us. We can’t get away from it. And it’s easy to get sucked into it.
Negativity is like a cancer and destroys everything in its pathway.
Here are a few things that negativity will do to us…
- Damages our confidence
- Shatters our value
- Lowers our self-esteem
- Robs us of joy
- Drains our energy
- Impairs our peace of mind
- Makes us less successful
- Ravages our health
- Distorts our clarity of mind
These things alone show us how devastating negativity is.
Therefore, we need to try to stay positive in this negative world.
But you may be saying to yourself, “Sheryl, you really don’t know the people I’m around all the time. Staying positive is really hard.”
I understand. Really, I do. We can choose positive friends and acquaintances. But we often can’t choose who we work with, or who’s in our family.
Sometimes being around negative people is out of our control. And their sour attitudes often makes us want to pull our hair out. I have a few people in my life who always look at the glass half empty, while I like to look at it half full.
Negativity can wear us out. Negativity can also be contagious. We may have adopted some of that negativity and not even know it.
So, here are 5 things we can do to stay positive:
1. Control the amount of negative news!
I’m a huge advocate of watching the news or reading it online, but in moderation. It’s important we know what’s going on around us and in our world, but the majority of the news is negative.
Paul encouraged his readers to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
So when your mind is overrun by negative thoughts, grab a hold of them and take them to Christ. Lay them at the cross. And ask Him to renew your mind with good things.
This is one sure way to thwart being affected by negativity.
2. Control the number of negative people in your life!
Choose to spend the majority of your time with people who are positive. Those who encourage and inspire you. Those who put Christ above all things.
Putting up boundaries is always a good thing. We need people in our inner circle, but not negative people. They will eventually succeed at bringing us down with them.
We read in 1 Corinthians 15:33 that “bad company corrupts good character.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve recited these words to my kids. Because it is VERY true. Even as adults, our good character can change because of someone we’re spending a lot of time with.
We can control who we spend the majority of our time with. Let’s choose positive people, not negative ones.
3. Meditate on God’s Word!
There’s not a better way to throw off negative thoughts than through meditating on God’s Word. Let me encourage you to spend more time reflecting on God’s Word than on the news or your current circumstances.
The proverbs are full of wisdom. Here’s a good one: “My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart” (Proverbs 4:20-21).
The Apostle Paul continues with this thought when he said: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8).
Our minds are Satan’s battleground. He wants nothing more than to disarm us so we cannot be useful vessels for God’s kingdom work. He wants us to wallow in despair and be rendered unsuccessful. And negativity is one tool that works in his favor every time.
Meditating on God’s Word gives us the upper hand in winning the battle of negativity.
4. Practice Gratitude!
It’s true that we have much to be thankful for. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 couldn’t spell it out any clearer: “Be thankful in ALL circumstances.”
Let me encourage you to sit down and write out your blessings. Guaranteed, your list will be long.
Practice saying “thank you, Lord” every day. And then tell Him what you’re thankful for. This is a GREAT habit to get into.
No doubt, Paul practiced gratitude. Listen to what he said, “I have learned how to be content with whatever I have” (Philippians 4:11).
5. Laugh often!
Solomon spoke it well, “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22).
I love to laugh. I’m sure you do, too.
I have a friend who makes me laugh all the time. I love being around her. She lightens the mood and makes me forget some of the more serious things going on in my life.
After spending just a little time with her, my mood is lifted. And the negative thoughts are gone.
Laughing is a sure way to keep negativity at a distance and a great way to embrace positive thoughts.
I hope today’s message offered you help in your circumstances and hope that things will turn around.
Let’s let go of negativity and start working on being more positive. This is a great way to be a brighter light for Jesus and to promote a healthy lifestyle.