One of the symptoms of our sinful natures is the tendency to be negative. Don’t get me wrong, many people I know are optimistic and if you are fortunate to have this as part of your personality, I believe you are very blessed. However, I tend to struggle with negativity. Whether this was learned, inherited or simply developed over time, negativity is something I have had to actively combat.
After beginning this article in the morning, I found myself in a conversation that illustrated this point. I was with a group of ladies and one individual (with a rather strong personality) spoke very negatively about a large community event which I had been part of and heard only good reports. Her complaints were largely personal inconveniences and frustrations. Rather than glomming on with my own small annoyances (which was my first inclination), I attempted to talk about the event as a whole and the positive impact it had on the community. I found that the negativity quickly became the topic of the conversation…..so much for my leadership skills.
That is not to say we should put on rose colored glasses and see everything as glowing. However, when you look at the larger picture, there is much to be thankful for. We live in a community that is safe from daily violence; we have enough food, water and medicine; we enjoy economic and political stability; and the list goes on. When I find myself frustrated by my to-do list, inconveniences such as traffic, my own sense of self worth, or worries about situations beyond my control – I ask God for His perspective. I am always surprised when God reminds me of all that He has done for me, all that He does for the world and the hope I have for eternity. God tells us through Paul that in all things we are to give thanks.
The question is do I chose to give thanks or do I glom on to negative comments, frustrating situations, inconveniences, self-doubt, worry? There’s an anonymous quote that I am trying to practice with more regularity: “Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.”
May you find something particular good in today and in the days to come -- Cynthia