Satan Wins with a Negative Attitude
We all have struggled with having a negative attitude. When things don’t go our way, we can sulk and place blame. Even the most Christ-centered of us have done this.
Come on, you know you have.
I know I have.
We are living a human life and things don’t always go our way. We have stress. We deal with loss. We deal with sickness. We deal with children. We deal with aging parents. We deal with jobs. We deal with school. We deal with time-management. We deal with temptation. We deal with self-doubt. We deal with loneliness. All of these things can manifest in our attitude being negative.
You could be thinking right now, "I know someone with a negative attitude that could benefit from this." It’s in our nature to want to help those we love. But, let’s first take a step back, be open and honest with ourselves, and truly examine our own attitudes as we study this before we apply it to others.
"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye" (Matthew 7:3)?
"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test" (2 Corinthians 13:5)!
The effects of a negative attitude:
1. A negative attitude is not attractive.
I am not referring to outward attractiveness. I am referring to the concept of beauty as described by God.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Philippians 4:8).
Recognizing the qualities that God deems to be beautiful will help us to strive for inward attractiveness in the eyes of others. Noah and Abraham had implicit trust in God. Moses was meek. David served God with his whole heart. Daniel was unwavering in his commitment to God. The beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount tell the story of inward beauty (Matthew 5:2-11). Peter admonishes women to not think toward outward beauty, but inward beauty. A gentle and quiet spirit are precious in the eyes of God (1 Peter 3:3-4).
Is inward attractiveness important? Besides the fact that we are commanded to be a good example to others and show love toward one another, I bet your husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend, children, and friends would say yes; they would like for you to strive to have inward attractiveness! Who wants to be around a negative attitude? Don’t make your family or friends feel stuck with your negative attitude.
2. A negative attitude hurts our loved ones.
If your negative attitude is a source of unhappiness for someone you love, you will be judged by that one day. Treating people with love is not a suggestion from God. It is a command!
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another" (John 13:34).
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law" (Romans 13:9-10).
"Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide to never put a stumbling block or hindrance in the the way of a brother... So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding." (Romans 14:13, 19).
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
3. A negative attitude jeopardizes our chances for happiness.
We make life what it is. If you are not actively trying to be happy, you simply won’t be happy. If you are making others in your life unhappy, chances are they aren’t trying very hard to make you happy either. Paul and Silas were praying and SINGING when they were in jail. Joseph forgave and welcomed his brothers back after they betrayed him. Job refused to curse God. Happy are the ones that follow God! Read Psalm 112 and see.
"Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart" (Psalm 119:2).
4. A negative attitude is not Christ-like.
If anyone had a right to a negative attitude, it was Christ. He was sent to live an earthly life to preach to people who didn’t believe Him and wanted to crucify Him, knowing what the end would entail. Even the apostles, His faithful followers, didn’t get it and Christ had to explain God’s plan over and over to them. Hung on the cross, watching His closest followers abandon and even betray Him, He is the epitome of a gracious and loving attitude even against the suffering that He endured in this life for us. His love for us is bigger than any of that! We are to be imitators of Him.
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children" (Ephesians 5:1).
"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps" (1 Peter 2:21).
"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1).
"Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked" (1 John 2:6).
5. A negative attitude will never win anyone to Christ.
Our whole purpose for being on this earth is to serve God and spread the good news. We are to let our light shine. We are to live our lives as though someone gave their life to save ours. Life is a precious gift and we are to live like there is HOPE in us!
"But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15).
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
"And he said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15).
Our example and how we live our lives should be the biggest evangelizing tool in our arsenal. It should be the greatest attribute we have that our families and brothers and sisters in Christ can look up to and count on. How can we do this if we are constantly complaining to others?
"Do all things without grumbling or disputing" (Philippians 2:14).
6. Satan wins with a negative attitude!
"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
Satan loves it when you snap at someone, act disgusted or impatient, or complain. Don’t allow Satan to run your life. Don’t choose to be devoured!
If your family or friends tell you that you have a problem with a negative attitude, you probably do! Listen to them. They aren’t out to get you. They love you. Chances are your attitude is effecting them in a negative way and you are subsequently causing them to stumble. If you find that you feel unhappy, annoyed, little things get on your nerves, you snap at others, and you complain a lot, chances are you have a negative attitude. We all struggle with negative attitudes every once in a while. The key is recognizing and striving to correct it.
Thank you, God, for Your unwavering love, for Your grace, and Your forgiveness!
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).