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 five 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 the 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?
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!