How to overcome negativity, and other sundry thoughts

How to win over negativity? Overpower it! Repel it! The old phrase, like water on a duck’s back, is suggestive. Don’t let it penetrate. Power up your mental strength. Fill your head and heart with God’s blessing and goodness.

The use of the word “overpower” against negativity sounds militaristic, and it is. To say we’re in a battle might seem melodramatic, but the Bible describes the Way in such terms. So many of us go with the flow, however, we have yet to feel the heat of the conflict. We’ve been conquered.

¶ Everybody’s an evangelist. The word is now being used even in the secular business world. Everybody wants to convince others to believe or buy something. Not a few are also little dictators. They’ll have their way with you by force, if they can. They glory in power, be it political, psychological, or other.

You’re an evangelist, too. Either for full dedication and allegiance to the Lord Jesus, or for lukewarmness in spiritual matters. By word and example, it shows. You can’t hide it.

¶ Jesus taught that the spiritual family takes precedence over the physical family. Including, or especially, on Sundays. It’s very easy to show that priority. When you become a Christian, or when you repent of your lukewarmness, tell your physical family that, under no circumstance, will you be available to them when the church meets.

Family members will test you. They will play dirty. They’ll make you feel guilty. But whom do we please, God or man?

Family members may help us serve the Lord more fully, or may pull us away from the Way. It has always been so, Deuteronomy 13.6-8. Let us not be surprised, nor give in to pressure.

¶ God has been stretching me of late. I’ve been teaching the Bible at 7 am and at 10 pm. I’ve taught more non-Christians in the last month than I previously did in the last year, seems like. Praise the Lord for opportunities!

Most of them will not likely convert, but I’ve been challenged to speak so that people of varied religious backgrounds, or of none, can understand and appreciate the Good News. And, Lord willing, one or two may respond with faith.

¶ The word “routine” gets lots of bad press. It has become a synonym for “rut.” It is used mostly in a pejorative sense. But good routines give structure to life. Time comes when, for health, moves, or age, we need to change them. So we are challenged to form new ones that will serve us well.

¶ Today we have two groups of workers in our house: one in the attic, removing part of the roof to replace our water tank; the other in the back, installing modular shelving in my new home office. The noise they’re making with saws and hammers and other tools of the trade doesn’t bode well for my routines.

¶ One of the best, most helpful routines, comes early in the day to commune with God through his word and prayer. At such times he works his image in us, strengthens our holy purposes, delights us with his presence.

With that kind of routine, we can overpower negativity easily.

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet. His microblog is randal.us.

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