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TAMING THE TONGUE (9)

 

The Grasshopper Complex

Negativity

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.     Amazing things have been accomplished in the past.

1.       America was discovered.

2.       The car was invented.

3.       The telephone was invented and perfected.

4.       We landed a few men on the moon.

5.       Planes were built that could take a person from New York to London in about four hours.

 

B.     What attitude was it that enabled all of these great things to happen?  It was an attitude that said:  “It CAN be done.”

 

C.     Sadly, this is not the attitude that many manifest within the church. In fact, we often have just the opposite attitude.  We say:  “It CANNOT be done.”

 

D.    In this lesson, we will be discussing “The Negative Tongue.”  We have entitled the lesson:  “The Grasshopper Complex.”

 

I.             DEFINITIONS

 

A.     Negativity

1.       “The practice or habit of being skeptical, critical, or pessimistic, especially toward the views and suggestions of others” (www.thefreedictionary.com).

2.       Characterized by habitual skepticism and a disagreeable tendency to deny or oppose or resist suggestions, plans, dreams, and programs

a.       Habitual

b.      Disagreeable

c.       Deny, oppose, resist

 

B.     The person who is negative has the ability to speak

1.       Negative statements

2.       Discouraging statements

3.       Defeatist statements

 

C.     Two other words:

1.       Skeptic:  a person who maintains a doubting attitude

2.       Pessimist:  a person who habitually sees or anticipates the worst

 

D.    Chart:

 

It Can Be Done                                 versus             It Cannot Be Done

 

Plans, Dreams, Possibilities                                           Roadblocks, Obstacles, Hindrances

                        How it CAN be done                                                    Reasons why it CANNOT be done

                        Positive                                                                                    Negative

                        Accomplishments                                                         Reaps nothing positive

 

 

II.           BIBLE OF EXAMPLES OF NEGATIVITY

 

A.     The children of Israel

1.       Three elements of great importance:

a.       The Power:  The children of Israel came out of Egyptian bondage by the powerful hand of God (Jer. 32:21).

 

And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror.

 

b.      The Promise:  God promised the Israelites that He would bring them into the land of Canaan (Exo. 6:8).

 

And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage:  I am the Lord.

 

c.       The Proof:  The children of Israel saw the land, and it was just as God had said it would be (Num. 13:25-27).

 

And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.  And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.  And they told him, and said, We came unto the land wither thou sentest us and surely it floweth with milk and honey:  and this is the fruit of it.

 

2.       Negativity “won” out.

a.       The Pessimism:  Ten of the twelve spies brought an evil report to the Israelites.  They said:  “It cannot be done” (Num. 13:31-33).

 

But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.  And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.  And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants:  and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

 

1)       We be not able

2)       Brought up an evil report

3)       We were in our own sight as grasshoppers (This is where our title comes from)

 

b.      The Provocation:  The words of the spies infected the entire camp of Israel and they rebelled against God and spoke against Moses and Aaron (Num. 14:1-4).

 

And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.  And all the children of Israel, murmured against Moses and against Aaron:  and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt!  Or would God we had died in this wilderness!  And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey?  Were it not better for us to return into Egypt?  And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.

 

c.       The Punishment:  The Lord did not overlook this negativity.  He punished the ten spies, as well as, the nation itself (Num. 14:29, 36-37).

 

Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me…And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord.

 

B.     The woman who broke the alabaster box and anointed Jesus (Mark 14:3-9)

 

And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.  And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?  For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor.  And they murmured against her.  And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her?  She hath wrought a good work on me.  For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good:  but me ye have not always.  She hath done what she could:  she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.  Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

 

III.         SIGNS OF A NEGATIVE PERSON (www.lifehack.org)

 

A.     They always worry.

 

B.     They try to tell others what to do.

 

C.     They live in a default position.

 

D.    They enjoy secrecy.

 

E.      They are pessimists.

 

F.      They cannot limit their exposure to bad news.

 

G.     They have very thin skin.

 

H.    They complain a lot.

 

I.        They never move outside their comfort zone.

 

J.        They love the word “but.”

 

K.     They are underachievers.

 

L.      They never get excited about future projects.

 

M.    They become energy vampires.

 

N.     They miss out on the good things of life.

 

O.    They put a negative spin on good news.

 

IV.         WHY PEOPLE ARE NEGATIVE

 

A.     Do not want to see another be successful

 

B.     Fear

 

C.     Abuse in their past

 

D.    Medications

 

E.      Conflict

 

F.      Deep-seated anger

 

G.     Loss

 

H.    Rearing

 

I.        Big changes in life

J.        Do not want more responsibility

 

K.     Lack of self-respect

 

L.      Addiction

 

M.    Physical illness

 

V.           WHY NEGATIVITY IS BAD

 

A.     Drains energy, enthusiasm, and motivation

 

B.     Makes an individual a negative person

 

C.     Ruins relationships

 

D.    Keeps one from accomplishments

 

E.      It created the bad luck it bemoans

 

F.      Makes for serious health problems

 

G.     Wastes time

 

VI.         VERSES THAT SHOULD KEEP US FROM BEING NEGATIVE

 

A.     Genesis 18:14

 

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

 

B.     Jeremiah 32:17

 

Ah Lord God!  Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.

 

C.     Matthew 19:26

 

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

 

D.    Ephesians 3:20

 

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

 

E.      Philippians 4:13

 

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

 

VII.       WAYS TO OVERCOME NEGATIVITY

 

A.     Recognize your negativity, (NOTE:  You may have to have someone assist you)

 

B.     Choose to be positive.

 

C.     Seek possibilities.

 

D.    Keep your eyes focused on your goal.

E.      Keep a deep faith in God.

 

F.      Be selective of those with whom you share your dreams.

 

G.     Do not listen to the nay-sayers.

 

H.    Surround yourself with positive people.

 

I.        Climb over, around, under, and go through all obstacles.

 

J.        Never give up.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.     Israel’s negativity led to their wandering in the wilderness for forty long years.  An entire generation perished in the wilderness because they listened to pessimism.

 

B.     The first battle in the Promised Land was at Jericho.  The city’s walls crumbled into the hands of the children of Israel without any strength needed on their part.  God proved that He was the one who would bring victory to Israel (Josh. 6:1-27, esp. v. 20).

 

So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets:  and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.