I was consumed earlier in my life by a Negativity Force that had taken up residence in my psyche and extinguished most of my optimism fire and zest for life. I would lay awake at night as angst-filled thoughts bounced off the walls of my restive mind and siphoned off much of my hope.
Over time, the negativity force produced uninterrupted and unrelenting pressure that even made smiling difficult. The negativity force was always there and always contaminated everything in my life. It became a breeding ground for delusions of inadequacy that had formed my pessimistic and myopic view of life.
What a shame! God has painted us all in a dappled palette of shadows and light. It is our first mission to discover our unique colors on the palette and we cannot do that if we’re consumed by negativity.
While the negativity force appears in our life automatically and lingers like smoke from a fire, optimism must be summoned. It is a matter of intentionally activating a response—an antidote—that neutralizes the negativity force before it takes root in our soul.
Consider this: Try putting a few drops of poison in a five-gallon container of water. Any amount of poison you introduce into the water precludes its use as drinking water unless you have an antidote. If the negativity force (poison) is not neutralized, the results will be catastrophic.
Switching back to our life context, the only pathway to avoid that “negativity poisoning” starts at the front end where you either truly believe that God will be with you through anything and everything, no matter what, or you do not. If we do not believe his promises at the start, lies from the negativity force will multiply and eventually seep out and into our daily life.
Fighting that off takes confidence in what God has created in you. Not positive thinking; it is faith in God’s goodness. Trying to reach this kind of “God Confidence” through positive thinking is like wearing new socks in bad shoes. You only think it’s a good fit. The better approach is more like slipping into a custom-fitted pair of Nikes, with new socks, and then putting one foot in front of the other.
Regardless of what challenges might be circling around our fort, we must do this in our mind first before taking action. We must believe enough to take the risk of boldly moving to a zone of supreme God confidence before we start. We cannot wait to see if everything will turn out ok and then turn on God’s confidence switch. We must first believe.
I avoid mourning when the negativity force wins and, instead, choose to celebrate the gift of waiting for God to paint a new picture on a fresh canvas. Did the negativity force show up in my life today? Briefly. But under similar circumstances at any point earlier in my faith walk I would have collapsed in worry and fear. No doubt about it. But not today.