Negativity is a horrible disease! It is very contagious, but can easily be spotted. When recognized, we should flee from the person who has it.
Not one GOOD thing comes from being NEGATIVE. IT is as easy to be positive as it is to be negative. IT is a choice. WE can choose to look at life or a situation in one of two ways, “The glass is HALF FULL, or the glass is HALF EMPTY!” I tell my kids to run, FLEE from negative people. It is like a contagious disease, if you hang around it, you CATCH IT!!!! I feel that I have always been a positive person, but have learned to recognize that being around negative people can turn my positive into negativity real quick if I allow it. The solution is to recognize the negative or negative people and limit my time around it or them.
Having been around golf for over 18 years now, I have found a lot of negativity when sitting around the club house after a round. It seems I hear every golfer talk about their bad shots or what they did wrong. I hear about snap hooks, duffs, missed putts, unlucky breaks, etc. It can go on and on. My kids are guilty of joining in on the conversations, but it is very characteristic of all golfers. They choose not to remember, or give very little attention to, the good that they did. After several years of listening and talking with Bob Rotella, a very well-known and successful sports psychologist, who works with people like Lebron James and Rory McCory. He also works with teams like the Kentucky basketball team who, in recent years, has won the national championship. He marvels at how very few golfers focus on what they do right, the “positive”. He has been so helpful in pointing out how being “negative” is a DEATH wish to, not only a golfer, but anyone in life. He has enlightened me on human behavior and the tendency we “ALL” have to be negative. Some people just choose negativity as a life style.
His wisdom has given me great hope and taught me great skills for staying “positive”. He has pointed out that the mind can only have one thought at a time. You can’t be speaking negative and claim to be thinking positive. He says it is virtually impossible!!! And he is right!! 100% right. So if you are speaking negative, you cannot be thinking positive. It takes self-discipline, desire, and intention to WARD OFF negative.
Of course, we are all guilty of being negative at times when we let our emotions rule our thoughts, and that is a bad thing. Emotions are fleeting and unpredictable and that is why they never should be used in driving our decisions. Emotions are usually deceiving and are temporary. They can be derived from many negative variables like fatigue, sickness, stress, pressure, and hunger–just to throw a few out there. It can be a downward spiral that leads to terrible thoughts, and, more importantly, terrible actions. After all, a thought always precedes an action! Always!!!! That is why, if we to choose to replace our negative thoughts with positive ones, our outcomes have a greater chance of being good ones.
Being positive ultimately requires faith, trust, intention, discipline, self-control and a constant self-examination, remembering all the while that it is a choice. I think one of the best stories in the Bible on this subject is found in the Old Testament in the book of Numbers. It is the story of the “10 Spies” that Moses and Aaron sent to survey the Promised Land and its inhabitants, the land that God had promised to deliver into the hands of the Israelites.
Out of the ten spies, only Caleb and Joshua came back with a “POSITIVE REPORT”. They saw the GIANTS just like the other eight spies did. The difference was where their thoughts and faith were. Their thoughts were on Christ and His promise of help! Their faith in God did not waiver. They also had a history with God (personal experience). God had provided for and seen them through many difficult times and they CHOSE to see the POSITIVE THAT CAME THROUGH FAITH!
Listen to the report that Caleb and Joshua gave in Numbers 14:7-9, “The land we passed through is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. and do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up! Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
Being 51 now, I know that just thinking and being positive doesn’t always provide the outcome for which we are looking. What I can tell you is that I can CHOOSE TO BE POSITIVE. Having a STRONG FAITH IN GOD, knowing He has a desire to see me or anyone else have GOOD days, AND reading ALL that the Bible has to say about what comes from A RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST—trust, faith, obedience to Christ, and shunning fear that is never from God—enables me to make this choice.
Caleb and Joshua and their families, by the way, were the only ones who got to make the Promised Land their home. Numbers 14:30-31 tell us, “Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected.” You see, the other spies lacked faith in God. They refused to acknowledge and rely on God’s character and provision based on their past experience with God. Instead, they made judgments based on their negativity and their “smallness and lack of faith thinking”. They had lived through the same circumstances that Joshua and Caleb had lived through, but their choice of thinking, their lack of FAITH AND HOPE, were so negative it cost them EVERYTHING as it says in Numbers 14:32, “But you-your bodies will fall in this dessert.”
In just a small journal entry I cannot begin to “unpack” and deliver to you all the Bible has to say on this topic. My hope and prayer is that God can use my life and my experiences along with these short, sometimes lengthy, journal entries to create within you a desire to KNOW CHRIST in HIS FULLNESS. He definitely desires for us to LIVE LIFE IN THE POSITIVE, REJECTING THE NEGATIVE.