By Andrea Merrell
I knew the answer to my question before it left my lips, but I asked it anyway … just to be polite. “How are you today?”
With the familiar frown I had become accustomed to, the woman proceeded to tell me everything—and I mean everything—that had gone wrong that day.
This woman is not a close friend. She's a virtual stranger in a place of business, someone I see three to four times a month. In all my dealings with her, I’ve never heard a single positive word come out of her mouth. I imagine if she won the lottery, she would tell me she was having a bad hair day, her dog just died, and she had a headache from trying to figure out how to spend all that ridiculous money. To me she has become Negative Nelly.
Negativity is a habit. We train ourselves to look for the bad, while taking all the good in our life for granted.
The Israelites were delivered from bondage and slavery, and God provided every single thing they needed in their journey to the Promised Land. He sent manna from heaven, gave them water from a rock, and drowned their enemies in the sea. He kept them well and strong and didn’t even allow their clothing or sandals to wear out. He was right there with them—in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night—ready to meet their needs, yet all they did was complain. Because of their negativity, a trip that should have taken twenty-one days lasted forty years. The worst part is that the majority of them never lived to experience what God had in store for them.
How many times have I been like the Israelites, murmuring and complaining instead of being thankful and praising God for His protection and provision? And how many times have I voiced those complaints to people who didn’t really want to hear them?
God reminds us over and over in His Word that we are to be salt and light, full of joy and peace, offering hope to everyone we meet. That requires a positive mindset and getting rid of our negative habits.
The next time you want to share your complaints with someone, remember … no one enjoys a Negative Nelly.
(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Ben Schonewille.)
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