By Carin LeRoy –
Have you ever been around negative and complaining people? They are not pleasant to be around. Many years ago I knew a friend who had a negative outlook on most everything. You name it, she complained about it. I liked this friend, but when I was around her I felt dragged down, too. Her pessimistic attitude had become a way of life, and she refused to look at the positive side of anything. From my perspective, her life was miserable because she chose to make it that way.
Negative attitude sees the worst scenario or the gloomiest outcome. Discouragement, unhappiness and cynicism can take hold in our hearts. God is not seen as being in control, and our faith becomes shallow as we choose to perceive life from this angle.
Grumbling and complaining against God resulted in the Israelites wandering 40 years in the wilderness. Because of their negativity and lack of faith, God prevented all but two from entering the Promised Land. “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, as surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say: In this desert your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land” (Numbers 14:26-30 NIV). God sees complaining and negativity as a serious offense.
But Caleb was different. He followed God with his whole heart. “But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to” (Numbers 14:24 NIV). When others around him were frozen in fear and grumbling against God, Caleb spied out the land knowing he trusted a God who would conquer all the difficulties the Israelites faced. He was allowed to enter the land as his reward. Caleb made a choice to trust in a God who was much bigger than his circumstances.
Negativism not only affects us, but influences those around us—our family, friends or coworkers. Be like Caleb; have a spirit that is willing to trust in an all-powerful God. Challenges will come, but what attitude will you have? It is a choice. Decide to be positive.
PRAYER: Lord, help me not to be a complaining and negative person. Give me a heart that sees You bigger than my circumstances and a willingness to be positive.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things” ( Philippians 4:8 NIV).
Today’s devotional is by Carin LeRoy, wife to Dale and mother of three grown children and one almost-grown teenager. She has been a missionary with Pioneers since 1982. Her passions are family, missions, piano and writing to challenge others to live faithful lives for God.