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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Plain Lifestyle, Servants Of Christ » Double Negatives

Double Negatives

 I am imagining that when you read the title of this article you thought perhaps that it was information on some type of grammar.  Our family has never been known for its perfect grammar and really I suppose I am fine with that. J  Nope, nothing to do with grammar – everything to do with attitude.  As a parent I think I have used the word attitude more times than I ever thought possible.  A word that didn’t seem so important to me when I was growing up – although I do remember my mother commenting on it regularly and it was always predicated with the word “bad”.   Sound familiar?

 This little article is about negative attitudes and the negative outlook that accompanies it.  We have all heard the phrase “do you see the glass half full or half empty” right?  This is referring to an optimistic or pessimistic personality. I realized the other day – not for the first time, but it was a very enlightening moment – that a negative attitude is highly contagious.  Have you ever noticed that?  Happiness and joy aren’t always contagious but a bad attitude and negativity are usually spread like wildfire.  I am not just talking about a person with a sour spirit but I am talking about comments that are made that seem to just make little stabs at one’s mind and spirit. 

 Every person on this planet has had tragedy and trauma hit their life at one time or another.  We all have a story to tell that expresses our suffering to some degree.  Granted some of the stories are horrendous and had a person the desire they could make a fortune writing it down in a novel.  But suffice it to say that we all have at least one moment in time that we would love to forget.  Because of the nature of this life – sin, sorrow, pain and suffering – we can all easily point out the negative aspects of anything.  I see a precious little kitten – beautiful calico with big green eyes – soft and fluffy, so sweet!  Yes, it is walking beside the busy highway and I can see the probability that the little kitten is going to get flattened by a transfer truck but why do I have to point this out to everyone in the car including the little 4 yr old riding with me.  “Oh, what a cute little kitten.  Hope he doesn’t get smashed!” and Yes, there is a young woman shopping in the grocery store.  She is gaunt and pale and is holding a little baby on her hip.  Her hair hasn’t been washed in a week; there are dark circles under her eyes and the baby is crying.  “My goodness, she must be on drugs.  Someone needs to get that baby away from that girl.” or Perhaps this young mother has had the flu, the father is working two shifts and there is no one to keep the baby for her while she shops.  Is it possible that this is an opportunity for us to reach out and help?  But yet how many times I have heard folks offer the most negative and ugly opinions without even thinking. 

 Those are two slight examples but hopefully you are getting the picture that I am trying to paint here.  Lately my heart has been so grieved as I have begun to notice more and more, not just someone on the street but Christians as well making the most negative and despair-filled statements with no thought of the omnipotent power of a loving God.  We know of a family that regularly and without any thought assume verbally that anytime they see a man in a light colored pastel shirt that he is gay.  There are folks that when they hear of someone having a medical test performed automatically comment, “Oh, well, you know that is not something that can be cured.  I knew they were looking bad and there’s no doubt they have it!” -Whatever “IT” might be.  And consider a family that is struggling financially, have you ever heard or said, “We just knew they were blowing money right and left and now they are gonna have to pay the piper!”  I heard that one just the other day.  L

 his is not going to be a very long article because the truth is that this needs very little expounding on.  In the book of

James 1:26 we find “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”  James 3: 5-8 says “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

How true these words are!  We can DESTROY with just a few simple words.  We can remove the last shred of hope with a few words.  We can bring about total despair with just a sentence.  We can set someone on a downward spiral to complete darkness by one evil response.  Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me – WHAT A LIE!

 In trying to understand the reasoning behind this determination to “be real” I have asked the Lord to help me see why some folks are determined to bring out the bad.  What is it that causes folks to make sure everyone around them knows the worst case scenario in every situation?  Why must they constantly be pointing out every negative?  Honestly, I don’t know.  I have prayed and prayed for some insight.  This article has been on my desktop for 5 days as I have prayed and pondered this and I have yet to come to any solid conclusion.  I do know that the majority of people truly do want to help others.  They want to offer some information or service that will be useful, but sadly they don’t realize that their words are powerful.  As shown in the scriptures above – our tongue, our words are powerful and even our body language is powerful.  There is no doubt that a sigh or a smirk of the mouth can cause people to stop in their tracks.  A mother can halt a child with one glance.  Amazing isn’t it?! 

 One thing I have noticed is that many times a person who is given to this habit of negativity is usually quick to respond to things. 

They tend to not only offer the dark cloud but they also seem to linger to instruct in what they think should be done.  Again, I have to believe that their desire is not to harm or condemn, but in someway they feel as if they are helping.  We must assume that their heart is right but their method is incorrect.  I know with my own children becoming adults I have caught myself doing this as well.  But it is not good and must be overcome.  This perhaps is another side of the coin.  Do we regard others as if they are ignorant children and we are the adults who know better and therefore must point out all the pitfalls? 

 I want to close this article with scripture, but allow me to ask you now to examine yourself carefully.  I am not writing this to the unsaved but to the born again. We are to take on the mind of Christ when we become born again.  He spoke the truth in love and never short changed it but he was never negative nor oppressive in His Words.  His Words were truth, but His yoke was/is easy and His burden light.  This is what we must attain to in our conversation and countenance.  Let’s strive to speak the truth with love and the promise of hope.  If we do this then we will never bring someone to despair.

 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. (Proverbs 10:19)

 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. (Proverbs 15:28)

 Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. (Proverbs 17: 27 -28)

 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Proverbs 29:20)

 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18)

 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger…. A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. (Proverbs 15:1, 4)


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"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24

Filed under: Plain Lifestyle, Servants Of Christ

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