Posts Tagged ‘negativity’

I’m away from my scanner so I decided to just doodle with my computer. I don’t love the graphic, but the sentiment of this meme is exactly how I feel and what I will strive for on social media.

This is going to sound as if I am contradicting my previous posts, but that is not the case. This is more about how, where and with whom to share the idea. Let me say it this way. There are people with whom you can share a fledgling idea and there are others that you cannot. People who are likeminded and visionary can help you take a fledgling idea to the next level. They can envision a future where your idea is alive and flourishing and they will provide encouragement and sometimes considerably more to you quest to bring the dream into reality. These people are great “sounding boards” and all creatives need a few of these.

Then there are others. If you bring them a fledgling idea, they just can’t see it. Instead they go to the negative side of what I call the “What If Spectrum.” Unable to see the possibilities, they instead see all the potential problems, pitfalls, etc. These are the people who will always tell you why what you are wanting to do/create will not work. They will question the thing to death and you run the risk of being so demoralized by them that you can, at times, even be caused to give up.

Lest you think, I think these people are evil, it’s quite the opposite, as a matter of fact these people can be quite helpful as you near completion and need to deal with the realities of the world to which you are planning to offer your creation. The problem is when to bring them into the process. These people are not visionaries. They are more pragmatic and practical and again they can be a tremendous asset to you, but because they are not visionary, before you share your creation with them, it’s best to have you idea as close as you can to completion.

There are people in our world who are, by their very nature, dream killers. They can’t help it, it’s how they’re wired. That being said, for the most part they’re not pathologically negative, they just need more convincing. It’s best to give them something they can see, touch and feel and it’s best to withhold the idea from this ’til they get to this point.

Assignment: Think of the people with whom you usually share your work. Consider which group they belong to. Remember, you need a mix of both. If you surround yourself with all visionaries, they may be unable to help you consider realities associated with your dream.


One of the outcomes of misused imagination is negativity. Rather than sanctified imaginations, we begin to imagine all that can go wrong. We imagine what people think of us. We imagine what people think of our work. We imagine responses that never have and never will happen. If we’re not careful, we can bring these thoughts into the real world and they can make us very negative. To be clear, there are enough negative things that can actually happen in our lives without us imagining more things to add on. Negativity is a fairly easy thing to lapse into and extremely hard to get out of, but once again negativity is imagination misused.

Scripture tells us the way out of this destructive pattern. We read “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This then is the key. Once again, it’s a matter of taking negative thoughts captive before they become a pattern. Some of us really need to repent of negativity. We need to learn to see the positive possibilities rather than the negative ones.

Now that’s not to say a negative thought can never be helpful. If you can truly see no good coming out of an action (especially if that action is sinful or even questionable) than that negative thought can lead you to a positive choice. For the most part, though negativity is a trap designed to keep you from doing the very positive things you were placed in this world to do.

At the end of the day, negativity is combatted with truth. Imagined outcomes may be possible, but they are not at this point truth. Seek God’s truth and act upon it, remembering that even a negative outcome may lead to something very positive. We can always depend on truth, but the heart is deceitful above all things. Trust God, praise Him in all things, and move forward in positivity. With God all things are possible and in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. Good or bad, God’s got this.

Stay positive.

endiscouragementLife can be filled with considerable discouragement. It’s insanely easy to find people who will try to drag you down and make you feel worse. One of the joys of being creative is we march to the beat of a different drummer. Even better, one of the joys of being a Christian is marching to the beat of THE Perfect Drummer. The single best way of dealing with discouragement is, not surprisingly, encouragement. Somewhat surprisingly, one of the best ways to receive encouragement is to be an encourager, i.e. to encourage someone else. Seeing the positive in someone else can make it easier to see the positive in ourselves or at least in our circumstances.

Try it. Instead of expecting negative things, look for someone who needs encouragement, or someone who is doing something positive and call it out. Let them know you notice. Let them know you care. Let them know you think they’re, positive, special, on the right track, etc. Make them feel better and a funny thing will start to happen. Looking for the positive, is usually a great way to help us feel more positive, or at least see the positive in our own lives.

Maybe this is why Scripture commands us to bear one another’s burdens and to spur one another on to love and good deeds.

The Bible has this uncanny ability to be right about things. Give it a try. Who are you encouraging? It might be the first step in finding your own encouragement.

If there is one thing that frustrates me about being a blogger, it’s that I can’t reach more people. Please don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate all the people that do read this blog (If you’re reading this, that’s you!) I just can’t help thinking some of the things God gives me here could help a lot more people. It’s not really frustrating though until I see some of the things that go viral.

Case in point. The other day a friend of mine commented on a post that was extremely offensive, one of the most offensive things I have ever read, and that is saying something. She commented because she wanted to tear into the guy and she did and, by the way she did it well. Of course now it was on her newsfeed and many of her friends posted as well, which meant it went onto all their feeds. I had some things to say about it too and I began to write, but then I had a revelation. When I hit send, my nearly 2,000 friends (never thought I’d ever say I had 2,000 friends) will also get to read this message. I deleted my comment.

They say feed a cold, starve a fever (or is it the other way around?). I don’t know if that’s right, but I do know what we feed grows, what we starve dies. By commenting on that guy’s horrible ideas, whether I agree or not, I am helping him to spread them. That’s not a great idea. See in the old days, when there was limited media, the few ideas that got out, were widely broadcast and people commented on what they saw. Now there are many more ideas and almost infinite channels to get them out. No one has more than 24 hours in a day with which to absorb these ideas, so many of them die, from lack of interest, because few people see them. The ones that don’t die, grow largely because people share them but also because of our comments, both positive and negative. Our sense of righteous indignation is sometimes the cause of things growing that ought to die.

Maybe it’s time to check ourselves before we hit send. Maybe we need to ask, “Is this an idea that deserves a larger audience?”

Negativity has no shortage of proponents. I think we need to be better. Let the negative stuff die. Share good stuff (maybe even this post) and good stuff goes viral. Isn’t that what we really want?

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love the way it allows me to connect with the world and while I know ultimately God empowers this ministry, social media has been a huge tool in its success. Yet nearly every time I go on social media, I read something someone posts that breaks my heart or, frankly, angers me. In these times I truly hate it. You see my dilemma right. I expect stupid, nasty, hurtful things to be said in the regular media. We live in a broken world, and while I am trying my best to love everyone, most of the people I see on TV, hear about on radio or see in print are not people with whom I have a relationship. Social media is different. The people who I am friends with/follow are people with whom I have at least some connection. I care about them and so the things that they post have at times really had an effect on me.

In the past, I felt the need to confront these things at times and at others I’ve just allowed them to depress me and, at times, ruin my day. I’ve had to change that to some degree. Here are a few things I have decided, maybe they will hep you too.

1. Some things I choose to ignore. If someone says something blatantly stupid or filled with hyperbole, well in the words of that Frozen song, sometimes you just have to “let it go, let it GO!”

2. Keep the focus where it belongs. My number one purpose in life is to honor God. So before I engage, I need to ask the question, “Will this honor God?” or am I entering into one of those useless quarrels the Bible warns us about.

3. Am I speaking the truth in love? Cause the Bible says I have to.

4. Is this the hill I want to die on? Sometimes it is worth it to engage and even confront, but you have to be selective. Will this matter in 20 years? Is it worth risking the friendship? Will this discussion alienate someone else? and again, Does it honor God?

5. Who else is going to see this? This really applies to all posts. I know I’m going to sound like a people pleaser here but in the context of my ministry, I do consider whether or not what I post is going to keep me from being invited to speak somewhere. You may think that is shallow or weak, so let me try to explain. It’s one thing to stand on the Word of truth and let the chips fall where they may and I think I have demonstrated I am willing to do that, but it’s another to needless disqualify myself from an opportunity to share the truth that sets people free because I am offended, hurt or irritated. Ask questions like, will this post deprive me of an opportunity to do good, get a job, etc.

6. Lastly, and slightly off topic, social media can be a huge time sucker. We who have goals and are living on mission need to realize that there are only so many hours in a day and limit our engagement accordingly. I have struggled in this area at times and am trying to do better. Maybe the best question of all is, “Is this interaction, the best use of my time or is it time to unplug and get something done?”

Social media is neither good nor bad, it’s a tool. How we use it determines it’s value.

Use it wisely.

negativity5Sometimes it doesn’t take much. A misplaced word, a casual comment, some little thing to go wrong and we’re off to the races into the pit. Negativity… It can be really tough and it’s easy to blame the person who instigated it. Let’s face it, they probably don’t even know. They may even be completely innocent, but even if they aren’t, this is one we need to deal with on our own.

It often starts off really small and it snowballs. One little thing leads to another, which leads to another and another and so on and so on, until it’s one big funk. I’m not good enough and I never, ever will be. I’m not enough. I’ll never measure up to so and so. The world is against me. Everybody hates me. Nobody loves me. Ah there’s the crux of it. Am I really loved? This is where it stops, you know. This is where the truth should come shining in like a ray of sunshine. For God so loved the world… remember? He gave His only son… remember? That’s what he did for you… remember? You are loved… remember?

It would be really easy here to coddle and comfort you here, after all you’re hurting, but I am not going to do that. Here’s the truth. At the core of this is sin. Pride is welling up and causing this to happen. Were it not for pride, we’d claim the truth of God’s love, remember who we are in Christ, forgive and move on. Instead we wallow and we build on. It strips us of our joy and our happiness and our purpose and motivation and especially our creativity… It takes us off mission and it’s largely our fault. The truth would set us free, but we’re not focused on truth… and so it begins.

Don’t get me wrong. You’re not on your own. You’re getting help. There is one who wants to take you off mission, steal your joy and destroy your witness, even destroy you if he can and he is right their to ready push you over the edge. The Word says he “prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour.” He uses negativity to drag you from the herd, off on your own where you’re an easy target. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. Don’t let him. You have a choice in this. What will you choose?

The first part of that verse gives us the key to overcoming this kind of attack, and it is an attack. “Be self controlled and alert.” If you’re paying attention you can see it coming, claim the truth and say no. If you can do that, you’ll bounce back quickly or maybe even never go there in the first place.

Be especially alert. This usually happens after a mountain top experience.

For a little encouragement, listen to this.