November 27, 2015

How Gratitude Disrupts Negativity

Okay. I have a confession to make. Are you ready? I have an addiction—well, two addictions. I am addicted to carbohydrates. I am also addicted to pessimism (fear and anger.) You may ask, “Huh? What does that mean?” This is my humble, amateur opinion, based on my own life and that of loved ones: a person can be as drawn to negativity as they can to certain foods, behaviors, and substances.  I think this can be backed up by psychology.

Negativity is extremely comfortable and alluring for those who are used to it. Some of us have a lifetime of training in it. It doesn’t matter that it’s toxic. Many of us are drawn to it like moths to a bright light:
  • Supermarket tabloids
  • Traumatic news stories (Do they ever stop?!!!)
  • Gossip
  • Road rage
  • Criticism, harassment, or abuse

How do we Derail Negativity?

A Survivor

Martha, a friend, told me about a 67-year-old Tae Kwan Do master. I have seen a YouTube exhibition of the man. It was inspiring! He is in much better shape than many people his age. What makes his story so astonishing?
  • He didn’t even start Tae Kwan do until he was in his 40s.
  • He overcame childhood polio.

This man had two huge strikes against him, but he rose above the darkness. He rose toward the initially small light in the sky.

An Analogy

The image above is of a bald eagle, the symbol of America, carrying a snake high in the sky. According to reports, the next step is to drop the reptile. Now, why would the bird of prey do all of this? The reason is that the sky is his territory. He has control. Conversely, the snake has no wings, no traction, and no means of offense or defense. In other words, it doesn’t have any power at all.

The high-flying eagle had to disrupt the power of the mighty ground-dwelling snake (a biblical symbol of temptation/negativity).  In order to do this, he took it up to a higher level.

How do we Lift Ourselves to an Upper Plane?

One word: Gratitude. Please see recent posts on gratitude here and here.  Joyce Meyer reminds us of the following:

Gratitude adds power; complaining adds weakness.
Our mess can become our message. Our pain can become others’ gain.
We are not going to increase God’s favor by complaining.
Negativity serves only the devil.

The Bible (emphasis mine)

I Thessalonions 5:18 In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Psalms 34:1-2 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall here thereof and be glad.

My Conclusion

How have you disrupted the devil’s plan with gratitude?

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