How to Deal with Negativity
“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.” This week I want to discuss the subject of destructive behavior that is not mentioned much in churches. I am not going to talk about lying, stealing, or cheating. What I do want to talk about is negativity. The first scripture I will be looking at is Proverbs 10 verses 11 and twelve.Proverbs 10:11-12 says, “The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.” Amen! Negativity is human nature actually it is human fallen nature. Do you know where the first negative complaint is found in the Bible? It is found in found in Genesis chapter 3 verse 12. Genesis 3:12 says, “The woman you put here with me she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” I can almost hear it “Lord it’s your fault. If you had not given me this woman I would not be in this fix.” Amen! Because of our fallen nature negativity comes naturally. How many of you had to teach your children to be negative? We tend to believe in the worst. It is easy to talk yourself out of something by using negativity. For example you want to try something new, what do you start thinking? Well that is not going to work. There is not enough time, or no one is going to like it. We tend to emphasize the negative.In James 3 he is talking about the use of the mouth. Let us see what it says. “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles thewhole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and better from the same opening? Can a fig tree, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.” What this tells me is that we have a choice about whether we have a mouth that is either negative or a mouth that is positive. Let me give you three facts about negativity.1. Negativity reflects what is going on inside a person. Proverbs 10:11 says, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.” Matthew 12: 33-37 says, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Simple Test: If you want to know the condition of your heart listen to what is coming out of your mouth.2. Negativity justifies itself. Proverbs 16:2 says, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits.” Amen! Just because something looks right to you does not mean it is right. If you put on rose colored glasses everything will look rosy. If you put on dark glasses everything will look dark. What you see is a product of your eyes. All of us can have a distorted view of the world. It all depends on what you are looking through. How many times I have heard these statements: “I have a right to be this way look at what has happened to me.” “Nobody likes me. I have no friends.” “You always act this way. You are never going to change.” Etc.Let me ask you a simple question: Is the glass half empty or half full? Are you looking at the problems or the possibilities? Whichever way you look at the glass you have not changed the level of it one bit. But your perspective of it has.There is a lyric that I love on one of the CDs I listen to it goes like this. “The doctor says I’m doing fine for an old man dying.” What glasses are you wearing? Are you living by perceived truth or by the absolute truth? The absolute truth is the word of God. And the word of God in John 10:10 says, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Amen! 3. Negativity chooses your friends for you. Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” Amen!Negativity will draw negativity. You know the saying – Birds of a feather flock together.You what to know the type of person you are. Look at who is hanging around you. I will tell you the type of people I want to hang around. What is going on in your life? Are you living a life of negativity? Remember Jesus said, “I have come to give life and not just life, but abundant life.” Now you know why you should not waste your time in negativity. Always look toward the positive.