“Then they hurled insults at him…” John 9:29
How many times have you found yourself in a downward spiraling situation or conversation, even among believers? One of Satan’s tricks is to sew seeds of discord and negativity into situations so that believers become frustrated and angry and therefore, their focus comes off of the positive to point to the negative, minimizing the glory that God could have received. Negativity is a fast growing weed in the garden of our souls. If left unchecked, and unrepentant, it will quickly consume your thoughts, causing what is good and honorable and pure to be choked out by the weeds of negativity.
- “But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.” Matthew 13:25
If we read John 9, we will see the amazing story of a healing of a blind man. The man was born blind, and thus his eyes had never seen a glorious sunrise, a colorful rainbow, a furry dog, the love in the eyes of another. As an adult, he encountered Jesus who had pity on him and gave him sight for the first time. Though he was filled with joy and excitement at first, his joy was diminished and then squashed by those claiming to know the ways of God. They turned this miracle into an opportunity to sew seeds of negativity in others. They interrogated the blind man, blaming him, questioning his motives, accusing him of lying and supporting a ‘criminal.’
- “To this [those claiming to know the ways of God] replied [to the blind man], “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.” John 9:34
Close you mouth.
Words can work against the work of God if we don’t scrutinize our own thoughts, intents, and words. Words can hinder your own faith and the faith of those around you. I think back to my years working in an office with a particular co-worker who was known as negative. Participating in conversations with her would ultimately leave a person feeling down and would affect your whole day.
“But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” Matthew 15:18
- Skeptical Words – Jesus can’t do work because of unbelief. Matthew 13:58
- Critical Words – Negative words go up while God’s work goes down.
- Cynical Words – Questioning and doubting the motives of another person’s heart is very dangerous as only God knows the hearts of others.
- Complaining Words – Murmuring and spreading negativity is highly infectious. Israel spent 40 years in the desert for their complaining.
- Consuming Words – Some words should never be spoken and once spoken starts a fire that is not easily put out. Fires leave ash in its trail.
We need to all continuously check our own hearts and words, making sure that what comes out is good and pure and edifying to those around us.
- “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11
Funny how our moms were right all along… “If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing at all.”