Overcoming negativity…it’s not something we often talk about. And it’s a difficult concept to fight when we live in a world that is inundated with all kinds of negative messages.
News from our government comes with negative undertones in the form of political backstabbing. Social media provides a plethora of negative messages in the form of comparison and inadequacy. And the negative reports about world events can be overwhelmingly depressing. Couple that with the negative messages that come from our own thought life, such as “not measuring up or not fitting in,” and it all can begin to take a toll.
If not addressed, negativity can become a trap and have a big impact on our overall spiritual life and faith walk.
So how do we overcome this negativity? How do we step out of this emotional and physical cycle and move into a healthier way of thinking and feeling?
In Colossians 3:2, the Bible challenges us to “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
This Scripture reminds us to put things into perspective and can aid us in placing our lives on the right trajectory to combat negativity. We need to fight the messages we’re hearing and intentionally place our focus and our thought patterns on the higher calling of Christ in our lives.
Let’s take it one step further. As followers of Christ, may we take a different approach to living in this world but not being of it (John 17:14-16). We need to take the approach Jesus took in approaching society. Jesus didn’t enter into the negativity of society or into the dividing lines of picking sides. He knew He wasn’t inadequate.
Jesus didn’t enter into the negativity of society or into the dividing lines of picking sides.
Paul described it best in Philippians 4:8-9. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Of course, this can be a lot easier said than done. But as followers of Christ, we must make a conscious effort to be countercultural and reflect our relationship with Christ and His transforming power.
Practically, may we start taking an inventory of the negative messages we are allowing into our lives. May we take these negative words and messages captive by the blood of Jesus and not allow them power of influence over us. Finally, we must replace the negative messages by adopting the Philippians 4:8-9 message and dwell on those things which are excellent and praiseworthy!
We have what it takes as followers of Jesus Christ to overcome the power of negative thoughts in our lives. As believers, we are overcomers because of who Jesus Christ is and what He did for us. May we reflect His victory and become contagious by adopting His mindset in a dark and dying world.
CAMPUS PASTOR, SBC FOUNTAIN HILLS