Last week, we started looking into the spirit of negativity, which says “I dare not believe the best, so I will expect the worst.” It’s a reflection of inner defeat.
As leaders, this is something we need to be intentional about getting a handle on because even those of us who know that we can have hope because of Jesus’ defeat of sin and death on the cross, will often still live out of a place of inner defeat instead of eternal hope. We all know that our mouths are a reflection of our hearts and inner thoughts. No one else has control over what comes out of our mouths except for us. This is one of those things that we literally need to personal responsibility for.
When I was a teenager, I swore like a sailor. I could blame it on the music that I listened to, or I could be honest and say that it really had much more to do with all the inner strife that I was bottling up inside. Because of circumstances during my childhood, I had a slew of emotions whirling around inside of me that I didn’t know how to process, nor express in healthy ways. And the words that I used definitely revealed that. It wasn’t until I made a concerted effort to change things did that start to change. But it was more than just choosing to use different words, I also had to deal with things that I had bottled up for years, which were the true life blood to my mouth. Let’s face it, “what is in us will leak out.” What’s leaking out of you? Are you taking responsibility for it?
The spirit of negativity will ALWAYS justify itself and distort the truth. When we’re living from a place of defeat, we’ve bought the lie that nothing is ever our fault. From our view point, we are always right and everyone else is wrong. In just the same way as our mouth reveals our heart, our perspective of life comes from what’s going on inside of our soul. There comes a point when we allow our circumstances to shape our theology and worldview instead of Truth. We no longer see things as they really are. We begin to believe things about people, our circumstances, and God that simply are not true, and suddenly everyone and everything is against us.
When my friend Sara was dying in the hospital this past spring, I was really wrestling with God. I remember standing during a church service one Sunday morning and asking God what the point was. I was overwhelmed by all the suffering in the world and felt absolutely defeated and deflated and honestly, just wanted Jesus to come back and for everyone to go Home. I wanted to give up. In that moment though, God revealed to me that my perspective had shifted somewhere along the lines. I had forgotten that indeed, this world IS full of suffering, that’s precisely why Jesus came, to save us from this hell on earth. And that’s also why God has left us here, to continue to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth, for this is not the way things are supposed to be.
In a world filled with a doomsday mentality where we are constantly bombarded by negativity and hell-ish thinking, we have to intentionally renew and refresh our minds with God’s truth and the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven. This week, I pray that we become more intentional about listening to ourselves and the words we say and the view points we are seeing the world through.