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Negativity Scene

Would you agree that you are unhappy? Would the word 'content' ever come to mind when asked to describe yourself? The reason that I ask is because I see a lot of negativity where I work. It's pretty rampant in most workplaces really. But, the workplace isn't the only place, by any means. It just stands out in my own little corner of the world.

It seems as if almost everywhere I go, I see and hear people complaining about anything and everything. It's their job, or spouse, or kids, or family, or bills, or commitments, or school, or one of a thousand other things. What do you talk about with people? What do you focus on?

It's funny. Have you ever noticed that when you're driving and you look off to one side or the other that you subconsciously turn the wheel ever so slightly in the same direction? It's a matter of focus. Our focus leads our direction. This point of truth can be illustrated in countless ways, really. Having been through extensive leadership training throughout the years I also learned that people are many times more likely to accomplish the goals that they set for themselves rather than the ones set for them.

The Bible tells the story of Peter walking out onto the water going out to Jesus (Matthew 14:22-33). Peter was able to walk on water just like Jesus until he took his focus off of Jesus and placed it on the storm and the waves. The passage specifically says that he saw the storm and was afraid. He put his focus on something negative and began to fall into the water in which he was focusing. Like Peter, we live out the reality of what we spend our time focusing on. In other words, we reach the goals that we set for ourselves.

If you think about and talk to others about all the things that you struggle with, you will always struggle with whatever you do. You will find a struggle regardless of the situation. Also, if you focus on your sickness, you'll eventually be perpetually sick. Every ache will be exaggerated into some pain that you will self-diagnose to be the worst possible ailment. Or, if you feel like somebody did you wrong over something and you spend your time focusing your thoughts and feelings towards it you will eventually start to feel victimized over other situations. Next thing you know, you're living life as a victim. You've decided it.

It's ironic, I suppose, to realize that these things happen because you are successful. You focused on something and you obtained it. You set some goals and you successfully hit your targets. Unfortunately, you were looking at negative targets.

I speak for myself, too, here. I'm not immune to losing sight of what I should be focused on. Far from it, really. But, we need to realize the destructive and constructive power of our focus if we intend to change how we think. Every time we start to think about something that's depressing, vengeful, hateful, worrisome, etc. we need to recognize it for what it is: negative thoughts that lead to negative outcomes. And, then we need to replace those thoughts with positive thinking, admirable goals, good memories, etc. Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

Thanking God for being able to do whatever you are doing at the moment does wonders for your feelings about your current task. Sometimes we just need to slow ourselves down, slow our thinking down, stop thinking about all the things that we could be doing and just be thankful for what you are doing. Be thankful for the health you do have even if it's not perfect. This sounds cheesy but, you cannot change the past nor obtain it again. Likewise, the future will always be outside your grasp. We own nothing in this world, not even time. We cannot make any more of it and we cannot retain any of it. It's God's gift to us what little time we are allowed to experience. That is why it is called 'the present'. We could all stand to be a lot more grateful, don't you think?


I try to keep positive and not have so much negativity. You have to look at the bright side of things. Instead of complaining that the lady behind you in church is signing out of tune be thankful that you can hear. Instead of being irritated by the indigestion of my pregnancy I'm thankful that I have this small miracle growing inside of me. Instead of being frustrated that our apartment is too small I'm thankful I have a roof over my head and a job to pay for it.

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