Declaring War on Negativity

resolutionsI said I wouldn’t make a New Year’s Resolution. Because I believe my greatest transformation comes not from my own efforts, but from growing closer to Jesus and allowing Him to shine through me.

And yet, that doesn’t mean I’m just going to sit back, prop my feet up, and sip coffee.

Okay, I am going to do that. A lot, but I’m also going to step into the game, mentally speaking.

This isn’t a resolution so much as it’s more of a determined mind change, triggered by Scripture. One more step in this journey of becoming more Christ-like, because the minute I quit moving forward, I start sliding back.

Into negativity. Specifically, complaining. Whining, maybe not verbally, but in my head:

‘How does one family go through so many towels?’

‘Who left that glob of pasta sauce on the counter? Why do I have to be the one to clean it up?’

‘This traffic is terrible. People should drive faster. Or slower. Or stay home.’jk3-uhdwjcs-nabeel-syed

The more I complain, the more frustrated and irritated I become, the more my selfish side rises up, squelching the Holy Spirit.

This cycle of negativity, if left unchecked, leads to a severe case of foot in mouth disease.

But what if I determined not to complain? To instead, find reasons to praise God, to be thankful.

We’ve seen all the memes going around, telling us how we should be grateful for the dirty dishes, because it means we have food to eat and (usually) people to eat with. But if you’re like me, you see the meme, mentally acknowledge it’s true, then go back to your day. Filled with mishaps, disappointments, stresses–and joy.

I’m deciding to focus on the latter. To watch what zips through my brain and off of my tongue. With God’s help, I’ll strive to “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God,” –this last part is my favorite–“shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people” (Philippians 2:14-15 NLT).

In other words, in a world filled with negativity, by not complaining, I’ll shine.

That’s a pretty cool thought, isn’t it? And I have a feeling, I’ll be a lot happier, too.

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About Jennifer Slattery

Novelist and speaker Jennifer Slattery, also writing as Jen Pheobus, uses humor, grace, and truth to inspire God's children to live abundant, Christ-centered lives. She does content editing for Firefly, a southern fiction imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and is a regular contributor to Crosswalk.com; Internet Cafe Devotions; Faith, Friends and Chocolate; and manages the social media for Takin’ it to the Streets, a ministry that serves Omaha’s working poor and homeless. She’s placed in numerous writing contests and her work has appeared in numerous compilations, magazines, and e-zines.
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