Thursday, March 3, 2011

What's your glass?

You know, being negative is one of the easiest habits you can make.  It might start out with a bad day or something that makes you pretty mad... and then suddenly, your entire outlook is transformed.  Honestly, is it easier to remember the difficult things that happen in a day or the happy things?

I've noticed lately that many of the people around me are much more negative than they are positive.  I also easily fall into this habit.  I go to school and a friend walks up to me and says, "I'm so tired.  My alarm clock didn't wake me up this morning, so I had to get ready in daisy-glass.jpgfive minutes.  Plus, I didn't get to do my homework last night, so I'm going to fail," and in an agreeing way, I often reply with something like, "Ugh, I know.  I didn't fall asleep until three in the morning.  I'm exhausted.  I hope I didn't fail the test last period."  And so the negativity begins.

This needs to stop.

When we're as pessimistic as we so often are, we're putting down the blessings we've been given by God.  We're ignoring the good things in our lives and focusing on the negative.  Look at the things you do have.  Life, breath in your lungs, a Savior...  There are so many gifts you've been given and those are only a few.

1 Chronicles 16:10 says, "...Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice."

\Sometimes, you gotta vent.  I understand that because I have to vent too.  But when the conversations you have with the people around you become more negative than they are positive, there is a problem.  This week, I challenge you to outnumber the negative things you say with positive things.  If you're feeling brave, I challenge you to not say anything negative at all, at least for an entire day.

Instead of negativity, fill your thoughts with happy things, with your blessings.  If someone hurts your feelings, remind yourself about the friends you do have.  If you wake up late, just think... you got a few minutes of extra sleep.  If you get into an argument, remember that difficult situations sometimes happen, but they don't have to define your day.  When you begin to shape your thoughts to think about joyful things rather than negativity, your entire outlook on life will begin to change.

God created you to be joyful, not down in the dumps and full of complaints.  1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 says, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  You were made to be joyful.  Not lonely.  Not sulky.  Not negative.  Not complaining.  Strive to be thankful, even if you're having a tough time.

After all, there are so many things to be thankful for.  If you're having trouble finding them, it may be time to start to change the way you think.

I remember reading Numbers 11:1 last year and feeling shocked.  "Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of water-drops.jpgthe LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp."  God hates complaining.  I can complain a lot at times.  I stubbed my toe.  I'm tired.  I have a headache.  I've had a bad day.  It's so easy to dwell on the negative.  But negativity causes God's anger to burn.

Yes, it's easy to think about how much you don't fit in or how bad of a day you've had or how much you wish you could be doing something else than what you're doing with your life... but it isn't God's will for you to dwell on the bad stuff in your life.  He has blessed you, even if you don't feel like He has.  If you're breathing right now, you're blessed.  If you have one friend, you're blessed.  If you have an education or food to eat, you're blessed.  You've been blessed.  It's time to act like it.

Have you ever known a true pessimist?  You know, someone who can twist any situation into something awful?  Aren't they an irritating person to be around?  Don't they just bring you down?  Try to remember that when you're with friends and constantly complaining or talking about negative subjects, you're bringing your friends down.  You don't want to be "that friend" who brings everybody down with your pessimism.  

You know, your relationship with Jesus Christ should give you joy.  Are you focusing on the joy in your life or the things that make you unhappy?  Which do you think glorifies God more: negativity or positivity?  The Lord has given us so much.  Let's thank Him with our thoughts, words, and actions and try to keep them positive.  Does anyone agree?

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!     


  1. I definitely agree. Truly, what do we have to complain about? Even when life is tough, we are still so blessed. Thanks for posting. (:


  2. Psalm 30:11-12 is another awesome verse on this topic: "You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!" Gah it just makes me want to dance around my room or shout from a mountain top how awesome God is! :D

    And you also reminded me of something one of my good friends used to say to me, it's cliche but true, "Every day is a fantastic day until you decide otherwise" :)

  3. Aw, I love that verse, Laura. <3 We have an amazing God!
    Haha, I like that quote too! There's this guy named Stanley Marsh who puts crazy signs all over my city and there's one sign that's sometimes on my way home and it says "Remember you promised yourself this would be a good day." I LOVE to see that sign on the way home from a long day of school. It puts my entire day into perspective. I also made it the welcome message on my phone. :)

  4. Question out of curiosity-- you've been pretty open about the fact that you used to be super depressed and suicidal and all. How would you say that this idea applies to the depressed person?

    I mean, it's not like you can tell a severely depressed person, "Stop being so negative! You need to think positively!"

    Based on your experience, what's the application?

  5. @anonymous: I don't think depression is a sin because it's an illness. You can't always control whether or not you have depression. Several prominent figures in the Bible, such as Elijah, David, Paul, and Job suffered from depression at times, but if you notice, God wasn't angry when they were depressed. He was angry when they complained against him.

    As someone who's struggled with depression, I know that hopeless feeling when you can't even SMILE. However, as I was overcoming my most serious struggle, I started to realize that when I would dwell on negative or dark things, then my depression seemed so much worse. If I listened to sad music and let myself act down all the time and just sat in my room and thought about my struggle, I felt more depressed. And when I talked about being down all the time to my friends, I began to realize that I was bringing my friends down too, even if I never meant or wanted to do something like that.

    Depression and negativity are two different things, in my opinion. To be honest, I've even struggled with some minor depression this year while realizing it's my last few months to be with my family before I have to go off to college. It's frightening and I often feel like my future is coming too quickly. But even when I'm struggling, I try my hardest not to lose the joy that comes from only God, even when I don't see anything good in the moment. I may be down and struggling, but I don't want to complain to the people around me because whether or not I'm depressed, I am still blessed.