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Confessions of a Secret Negative Nancy

Let’s start with a question. Would you say you are an optimist or a pessimist? If you asked my dad, he’d say he’s a “realist”. As kids my sisters and I would joke and tell him he was a “pessi-realist” because it seemed as though he looked at the more negative side of reality. Now as an adult I see that the majority of us can relate to that, especially when we consider our internal dialogue. I find it easy to be uplifting and positive for everyone and their situations, but my perspective when it comes to dealing with my own stuff many times leans towards being a “pessi-realist” if not a down right Negative Nancy.

Surprisingly, medical studies have shown that negative thoughts can actually cause health problems. If you are one that consistently gives into negative emotions, then you are subjected to stress which upsets the body's hormone balance, depletes the brain chemicals required for happiness, and damages the immune system. Even more, poorly managed negativity, especially anger and bitterness, have been linked to health conditions such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression. In James 3:14-16 we are told that wherever selfish ambition, bitterness, and jealousy exist you will find disorder and every evil practice. I know for myself whenever I allow myself to get caught up in negativity it usually boils down to a few things: 1. I didn't get what I wanted or it didn’t turn out how I wanted (selfish ambition) 2. Someone else has disappointed me or not lived up to my [unrealistic] expectation (bitterness) or 3. Someone else has it easier, has more money, time, love, help, or whatever (jealousy). It is no wonder that our bodies suffer severe consequences due to negativity.

There is hope my friend whether you are an occasional pessimist or a full blown Negative Nancy. We have a good, good heavenly father who wants good things for us! He is a way maker and promise keeper! The bible is chocked full of testimonies of people who’s circumstance looked anything but positive, but God pulled through. He showed up! Joseph who was wrongly imprisoned, but remained faithful to God, was later made in charge of Egypt. Job went from richest of the rich to the poorest of the poor both financially and physically. He like Joseph though remained loyal to God and the Lord restored him. Then there is David who’s life, in my opinion, was nothing short of a Soap Opera. He spent much of his life on the battlefield both physically as a King and spiritually as a “man after God’s own heart”. David didn’t always make the best choices, but even in his fatigue and discontent, he ends every bleak Psalm with praise. God in return kept his promise to David of establishing his kingdom forever through our eternal King, Jesus Christ.

I’m going to go out on a limb here, but is it possible that when we let negativity seep into our thoughts, we are internally saying, “God you aren’t good enough. I don’t trust you. You aren’t big enough. You are going to let me down” Our perspective is on ourselves and our own ambitions rather than on the One who created us and has the BEST plans for us. You see, we battle negativity by taking those thoughts captive and remembering all the good things that God has already done believing and trusting that He will show up again! He has proven himself trustworthy and faithful time and time again. We have to take time to reflect on all the good things God has already done for us, through us, and others. When we remember all that God has done in our lives, the trials we’ve overcome, the blessings we have but don’t always see, this changes our perspective and aligns our thoughts with the admirable and lovely things from our heavenly Father. Even if you are amidst a difficult season and it feels hopeless and anything but positive, remember we can find peace in that we can trust God fully because He will show up again!

Tips for Overcoming Negativity:

  1. Remember all the things God has done in your life.

  2. Worship!! This puts the posture of our hearts focused in the direction of praising Him.

  3. Pray! This one might seem like a no-brainer, but be intentional with your prayer time. The enemy wants us to wallow in our misery rather than bring it to the throne of God.

  4. Seek Godly counsel and advice from someone who will speak truth (don’t just complain, seek resolution in the Lord) . Bringing our negative thoughts to the light allows God to out shine the dark.

  5. Retrain your brain. Take negative thoughts captive and teach them to obey Christ (2 Cor. 10:5)

Scriptures to to Pray over yourself:

Phillipians 4:8

Psalm 19:14

2 Corinthians 10:5

John 10:10

Journal questions:

  1. Is there a certain area of your life that you are allowing negativity to run rampant (work, relationship, self)?

  2. What tips do you feel will best help you change your perspective and how can you apply them?

Father God you are faithful and good. Thank you Lord for all of the blessings in my life. Forgive me Lord when I take them for granted and focus only on the negative. Holy spirit help me to quickly take any negative thought captive and fill my heart and mind with thoughts that are pleasing to you. Jesus change my perspective to focus on things that are good, admirable, and worthy of praise. Father God I surrender my heart and my will to you and trust that your plans are the best plans. Lord I praise you and worship you, let your will be done!
In Jesus Name, Amen!

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