Not long ago I spent many hours with someone who devoted quite a bit of time to speaking negatively about his life and giving in to and proclaiming his self-pity. After first, I was judgmental and even thought, Where is your faith in God?
Then I remembered that I do that too. How easily I can give in to negativity when hard times come, and on some days I allow myself to wallow in self-pity like a drunk who pours drink after drink.
I praise God that He’s brought me a long way when it comes to overcoming this tendency toward negative thinking and speaking out my negativity to those around me.
Today I’m reposting a blog that I first posted on October 6, 2015, which deals with this subject. Reading it again and listening to the songs encouraged me today and reminded me of God’s faithfulness and His desire for me to proclaim it out loud to others.
What Story Am I Telling? Repost
Lately corrections have come from a friend and from the Lord about what words come out of my mouth.
One day when I was speaking of negative things going on in family members’ lives, a friend encouraged me to stop the negative talk, ie verbalizing my fears and worries. Instead she urged me to speak out words connected to God’s faithfulness and my faith in Him.
Instead of saying, “I’m afraid my loved one is being drawn further and further from the Lord,” she urged me to say “I’m believing she will embrace her destiny—that God will make sure that happens.”
Not long ago in prayer time, the Lord encouraged me to focus and talk about prayers that have been answered and express out loud thanks for those rather than speaking of prayers which have not yet been answered and getting trapped in moaning and mourning out loud about those.
Two songs I’ve heard in recent weeks seem firmly connected to letting go of these negative words that slip out of my mouth.
Both songs have to do with telling our stories.
As a writer, I often send out words that speak of God’s faithfulness and my confidence in Him. I’ve had numerous articles published on that theme. These are what I have called “my stories to bring Him glory.”
Yet when I’m in conversation, I too often get caught up in the opposite–telling “sad stories.” These are tales of the bad things that are happening and my grief over the fact that it seems God isn’t doing anything.
It took these two recent reprimands to realize that these “stories I tell” in normal conversation cast doubt on the faithfulness of God. They can lead people away from the Lord rather than toward Him. They hurt my own intimacy with the Lord. At times my tales of woe are fueled by comparing, self-pity, and doubt. I’m praying and believing that God will continue to deliver me from slipping into these destructive mindsets.
My new goal is to tell my story—the story of God’s faithfulness–not just in written form but daily in my interactions with everyday people who cross my path.
Yes, bad things have happened. Yes, traumas, trials, and tragedies have sometimes taken my breath away. But the truth is that through it all God has been faithful. He may not have intervened in ways I demanded or as quickly as I have desired, but He has intervened with His love, His peace, His hope, His strength, and His joy in the midst of sorrow.
He has answered so many prayers immeasurably more than all I have asked or imagined. (See Ephesians 3:20 NIV)
The Word of God warns me not to be naïve about the devices and schemes of the enemy. (See 2 Corinthians 2:11)
I’m realizing that getting me to focus on the negative is Satan’s plan. When he gets me to do that, he has succeeded.
The Word also says that he comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (See John 10:10) He desires to steal my joy, kill my passion for the Lord, and destroy my confidence in a loving, caring God. For moments at a time in my life, he is successful at this. With others he succeeds for years or even decades.
The good news is that God is merciful. He does not hold my
negative words against me but urges me on to a better
He celebrates when I speak openly of His trustworthiness.
I’m looking forward to a new day tomorrow where I can tell the story of my life—the story of God’s faithfulness.
Lord God, please help me to tell the true and uplifting story of Your never-ending love for me and for each one of us.
Here are the links to the two songs about the stories of our lives.
“My Story” by Big Daddy Weave
“Storyteller” by Morgan Harper Nichols (with Jamie Grace)