Naturally Negative: 4 Steps to a Negative Life

freely-6193I have to say up front that I have a bit of an advantage over most people when it comes to the subject matter at hand. At the risk of bragging, I really don’t have to work at being negative. I’ve never had to train my mind to take on a negative bent. Negative thoughts just seem to come naturally to me.

I guess you could say, “I’m naturally negative.” It just sounds so arrogant of me to say it out loud. Anyway, if you’re struggling with positivity let me encourage you. You can change. You can become a poster boy (or girl) for negativity if you follow my simple 4 step program.

1. Think Negative Thoughts
If you find it difficult to conjure up negative thoughts then you’re probably not watching enough news, or you’re just not trying hard enough. We can learn what not to do from the life of Joseph as recorded in Genesis. He kept a positive attitude despite the negatives that had occurred in his life. His brothers planned to kill him. But they eventually settled for selling him as a slave. Then he was falsely accused of sexually assaulting his bosses wife. Even though it was really the bosses wife who was trying to seduce him, he still wound up in prison. Yet, Joseph refused to focus on the negatives. Instead, he made the tragic mistake of staying positive by keeping His eyes fixed on God and by continuing to serve Him. Which brings us to the next step.

2. Speak Negative Words.
Again, Joseph is a terrible example in this regard. Despite the bumpy road that marked the journey of his life the scriptures do not record a single negative word that proceeded from his mouth. Obviously Joseph had not been properly instructed in the power of negativity. Perhaps his father Jacob spent too much time talking about God. The problem with God is well stated by the Apostle John: “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) If you get too close to God you run the risk of eliminating darkness from your life. And that darkness would certainly include negative thought patterns that lead to negative conversation.

As Proverbs 18:21 says: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” According to this saying of Solomon you will eat the fruit of whatever you love most, whether it be life or death. If you want death then you must speak death. You must love death. Which brings us to the third point.

3. Read the Bible Less and Pray Less.
If you read the bible too much you’re going to come across men like the one discussed above. Don’t let the seemingly negative stuff of scripture fool you. The book is actually the most positive piece of literature on the planet. It brings life instead of death. And don’t be fooled about prayer either. Consistent pray-ers have been known to experience drops in anxiety and depression levels along with corresponding spikes in peace and joy. Reading the bible increases the risk of believing it. And if you believe its message you might actually wind up in heaven one day. Is that what you really want? Wouldn’t you rather spend eternity in the most negative place in the universe?

4. Hang-out with Negative People.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of this step. Negativity is like a contagious disease. You can catch it just by spending time in the company of people infected by it. Spending an inordinate amount of time around them allows you to bask under the shadow of the dark cloud that follows them everywhere they go.

Scripture bears this out. “Evil company corrupts good habits.” So says the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:33. So what are you waiting for? Go and get yourself some evil company. Put down the bible and start binge watching netflix. Get up off your knees and start hopping down the broad road that leads to destruction. Pollute the atmosphere of your home with verbal filth. Fill your mind with all things dark and dreary. In short, commit moral and spiritual suicide.

Then and only then will you truly know the power of negativity.

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The Pecking Problem

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Given the subject matter at hand, I’m probably not qualified to write this blog.

It should be written by a happy, peaceful person. Not that I’m completely miserable or altogether void of inner calm and tranquility. I probably have a million reasons to be happy. I just find it hard to think of them. Positive thoughts often elude me. Negative ones come naturally to me. I don’t have to chase after them. They just show up like an unwanted guest at a dinner party.

They’re the ultimate party crashers. Mental bullies. Emotional terrorists. Creeping, crawling insects of the mind. Who let them in? How can I get them out?

My family and I were recently stalked by a Crow. I don’t know what its problem was. He kept showing up on our front lawn pecking at the front steps. Sometimes he pecked at the windows. Maybe he was suffering from an identify crisis and thought he was a woodpecker. Or maybe my eyesight is worse than I thought and he really was a woodpecker and not a crow at all.

I told my wife one day that I wished to buy a pellet gun. It was the only fun solution I could think of to take care of our pecking problem. She didn’t think it was a good idea. She probably had doubts concerning my aim and feared for our neighbours safety. Not to mention our own safety.

But aren’t negative thoughts like the pecking of that Crow? Are they not troubling, tormenting and relentless? They never quit. If you leave them alone they’ll continue to peck away at your sanity. At the very least, negative thoughts will rip the joy right out of your heart.

The other day I was playing floor hockey in the basement with our son. The game went into double overtime and exhaustion began seeping into my aging bones. I suggested to the boy that it might be time to rap up the game as the possibility of cardiac arrest was looming over me.

He said, “Dad, relax. You need to get some joy in your life.”

I thought, “Where did that come from? Should I now take counsel from the lips of an eight-year old? Who did he think he was, telling me I needed to get some joy in my life?”

Trouble is, he was right. Of course, he wasn’t aware of my internal pecking problem. You see, I want to lighten up, I really do. But the constant peck, peck, peck, just wears you down after awhile. Maybe it’s not supposed to happen overnight. Some battles are fought over a period of weeks, or months or years. Perhaps for some of us, the battle of the mind is a lifetime struggle. We think a lot. We’re always thinking about something. But can we afford to just think about anything. Do we have no right to choose our own thoughts?

Yes, we do have the right but if we don’t exercise it we’ll be forced to live our lives joyless. Life for us will be like eating food when you have the flu and can’t really taste what you’re eating. No doubt, as long as the food enters your system it will still serve its intended purpose. But it’s much more fun when you can enjoy the taste.

Serving God, being a parent, and working are a few of many things you can do while miserable, but they’re much more fun when you can enjoy the taste.