by Amber Weigand-Buckley
The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NASB
During the months of COVID quarantine, I’ve found myself fighting one long-lasting virus more deadly than any other—the virus of negativity. And it doesn’t matter how much I pray or how many Scriptures I read, sometimes it only takes one scroll through social media or one disgruntle phone call. Or a not so lovely email, for the symptoms to come creeping back in.
The thing about negativity is that not only does it affect you, but it also creates an environment that infects you.
There are times when my British husband has told me: “Stop being a Negative Nellie,” and I don’t realize I’m being negative at all. But you see, the symptoms of negativity are more surprising than you might think.
- Do you find yourself zapped of energy when you read someone’s Facebook post? Then do you spend time fuming about it, even if you don’t write a reply?
- When a particular person’s name is mentioned, does your mind instantly transfer to all the bad qualities about that said person? Or do you dread when one specific name pops up on your cell phone because you “just know” they are going to “drain you” of your good mood?
- Do things that you don’t like about yourself, or “stupid mistakes” keep you feeling like you will never achieve (you fill in the blank).
- And this is a big one for me— Do you find yourself calling yourself “a failure” or other demeaning names when things go wrong, or your home is not at peace.
Negativity is an outflow of tired, frustrated, prolonged discouragement. It is as infectious as any virus. In fact, I think that the enemy of our soul likes to use it more than any other weapon against us. Why?
It’s a spirit-killer.
Negativity destroys the spirit of hope, joy, and peace that the Father works to grow in us, so we might be a testimony to His faithfulness in all things and through all things.
Hebrews 12:1 describes it like this: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every UNNECESSARY WEIGHT and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us,[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith” (AMP).
Negativity may not be sinful, but it definitely is “unnecessary weight” that keeps us from testifying the truth of God’s faithfulness. So, refuse to carry it.
You can turn the channel on negativity with mindfulness to what we let into our thoughts and hearts. When the negative dialogue starts playing in our head, we can catch ourselves. Speaking God’s truth into those moments will break negativity’s hold on us!
Guide negative conversations with friends into the truth of God’s good things. You might consider breaking through negative conversations with moments of laughter or funny or encouraging words—it’s indeed good medicine.
Also, know there is nothing wrong with guarding your heart against social media or feeds that stir up negative emotions in you. Also, consider Philippians 4:8 when you are posting, too.
In order for you to arise to everything God has called you to be, I pray that God would daily strip away everything that the enemy would like to use to hold you back, by the ultimate authority and power of the name of Jesus Christ.
About the author: Amber Weigand-Buckley is editor and art director for multi award-winning Leading Hearts magazine, the official voice of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Get the latest issue for FREE by texting LEADINGHEARTS to 64600 and check out leadinghearts.com.
Join the conversation: How do you fight negativity in yourself?