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Negating Negativity
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.              Introduction

a.    Paul says we are to “adorn” the doctrine of God (Tit 2:10)

                                          i.    Think of this as making it attractive

b.    We do this by maintaining a joyful attitude (Phil 4:4)

                                          i.    Who wants to become a Christian when we are unhappy as one?

c.    Let’s define negativity/pessimism with some Biblical examples

II.            Defining negativity

a.    Always fearing the worst possible outcome in a given situation

                                          i.    Israel feared the worst when Goliath threatened them (1 Sam 17:11)

1.    David entered the scene and was discouraged by them (30)

2.    Saul also was a pessimist toward David (33)

3.    However, David was optimistic with God on his side

b.    Having a defeatist attitude (“I can’t”)

                                          i.    The ten spies gave a “defeatist” report of the land (Num 13:28)

1.    Giants were there so they felt they could not win

2.    Remember two spies gave an optimistic report (Joshua and Caleb)

c.    Being dissatisfied with what you have

                                          i.    Israel murmured over the manna they were being given by God (Num 11:1-5)

1.    In fact, they wanted to go back to Egypt for their food

a.    They forgot what God has delivered them from

b.    They were dissatisfied however blessed they were

III.           Negativity is not…

a.    Discussing a legitimate problem (1 Cor 5:1)

                                          i.    Sometimes a problem comes along that needs to be addressed

1.    This is not negativity

                                        ii.    Paul mentioned that fornication was being reported and rightly so

b.    Becoming unhappy in legitimate situations

                                          i.    Sometimes things happen that make us sorrowful

1.    Jesus wept (John 11:35)

2.    Jeremiah was the “weeping” prophet

                                        ii.    If we didn’t ever cry we would need mental help

IV.          This is Serious

a.    Sometimes we might make heart issues out to be minor

b.    Moses was negative when asked to deliver Israel from Egypt (Ex 3-4)

                                          i.    God’s anger was “kindled” against him

c.    When Israel murmured in the wilderness God destroyed them (Num 11:1)

                                          i.    They are an example for us to avoid the same spiritually (1 Cor 10:10-11)

d.    Paul uses “unthankful” in a list of sins (2 Tim 3:2)

                                          i.    This is serious enough to cost us our soul

V.           The effects

a.    Corruptive (Prov 23:7)

                                          i.    It will suck the joy from your life

b.    Counterproductive (Psalm 51:12-13)

                                          i.    Without joy we cannot convert souls

c.    Contagious (Num 14:1-2)

                                          i.    The whole congregation began to cry when the spies gave the report

d.    Confusing (Num 14:24)

                                          i.    Their faith in God waivered, but not Caleb’s

VI.          Overcoming negativity

a.    Admit the problem

b.    Pray about it

c.    Count your blessings

d.    Find an accountability partner

e.    Don’t compare yourself to others

f.     Swap negative thoughts with positive ones

g.    Have faith in God

h.    Look beyond tomorrow to Heaven