DON'T THINK IT, DON'T SAY IT
by paul hoffmaster
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How do we respond to problems and every day situations that challenge our comfort zones? Probably the majority of individuals react with a rush of emotions that causes their daily progress to experience a temporary interruption. The tendency of so many is to exaggerate the magnitude of the negative disruptions. Human nature has taught us to expect the worst and hope for the best. The negative seeds are the fastest growing of life’s seeds, and by our attentiveness to them we are, in effect, promoting their germination. Little do we realize that entertaining the negative will lead to its offspring, which is pessimism. To help pessimism flourish, the world fertilizes it with the constant bombardment of negative news through the mass media. So much of the populace today spreads misconceptions and fears faster than a speeding bullet. Rumors and gossip are both good fertilizers for the negative. The effects of situational problems have a strong relationship to high blood pressure, ulcers, anxiety, and other mental and physical manifestations.
Why is it so easy to accentuate the negative and so difficult to promote the positive? Maybe it is all related to how we spend our time. If the “daily news” occupies more of our time than the “Good News,” we are bound to develop a negative attitude. People become, to a large degree, what they read and hear. Negative thoughts will lead to the flooding of the spirit which can short circuit a Believer’s fellowship with God. Positive thoughts propel people into Godly actions. Pessimism looks at opportunities and sees the impossibilities, while optimism looks at the situations and sees the possibilities.
Moses sent twelve men into the Promised Land to check out the territory that God was going to give His people. For forty days, they scouted out the terrain. Truly, it was a land of bountiful blessings. The necessities of life displayed their bounty. When the spies returned to the staging area of their camp, the multitudes gathered to hear the description of the land that was to be theirs. Ten of the expedition was ready to share the down side of the excursion, while Joshua and Caleb could hardly wait to share their positive aspects of the journey. The ten “negative-ites” painted a picture of certain doom if they were to invade the land. The ten proclaimed that because the people of the land were so powerful, they looked at themselves as grasshoppers. To justify their self demotion, they even claimed that was how the occupants of the land saw them. (Numbers 13:33) The people were so affected by the negativity that they wept before the Lord. It got to the point that the multitude wished they had never left Egypt. They even thought of appointing a leader that would take them back to Pharaoh’s land. (Numbers 14:1-4) Joshua and Caleb bravely attempted to reassure the people that the land was theirs for the taking. They proclaimed that if they just obeyed God, He would give the land of endless possibilities to them. The multitude responded by calling for their death. (Num. 14:10)
Life and death is in the power of the tongue. (Prov. 18:21) If we use our negative seed spreader, we will not only see ourselves as insignificant beings, but Satan will see us in the same way. We have all experienced the blessings of God, yet we tend to major on the negatives in life. The more we spread negativity, the greater the degree of pessimism. Joshua put it simply to the people when he said, “Do not rebel against the Lord.” (Num. 14:9) When we become negative and pessimistic, we are, in effect, rebelling against God. Let us learn to speak and obey the Word, instead of negating the Word by our fears and feelings.
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