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Maybe social media is skewing my perspective, but it seems as if more and more ministers I know are becoming increasingly negative. Ironically, this anecdotal perspective is, in and of itself, negative.
People prefer positivity. People go to their pastors and ministers in order to be equipped for the work of the ministry. They go to us to learn more about the hope of Christ.
If they listen to you speak, or read what you type, and it is filled with a glass half empty perspective of life, it can come across as you lacking hope and being ungrateful. There are three angles of this topic that are particularly poignant: psychology, the Bible, and the workplace.
What Psychology Says About Negativity
According to a study by Michigan State University’s psychology department, in The Journey of Abnormal Psychology, negativity and a struggle with worrying have a direct scientific correlation. In other words, the more you worry, the more negative you will become.
Ray Williams, from PsychologyToday.com, expounded on the Michigan State study by stating the following:
In their experiments they found people who tend to worry showed a paradoxical backfiring effect in their brains when asked to decrease their negative emotions, which Moser said, “suggests they have a really hard time putting a positive spin on difficult situations and actually make their negative emotions worse even when they are asked to think positively.”
What the Bible Says About Worry and Negativity
The Bible addresses negativity in a number of ways.
The Gratitude Issue
Ephesians 5:20 says, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Thankful people are typically positive people because they’re so busy counting their blessings, they have way less time to focus on their setbacks. Your attitude determines your altitude. You will always soar higher when you have a great attitude.
The Heart Issue
Proverbs 23:7 says, For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you.
When your heart is set on negative things, it is harder to have it set on the Lord. After all, if you have Jesus, you should view that as a positive!
The Worry Issue
Matthew 6:25a says, Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life,
As I mentioned above, there is a psychological correlation between worry and negativity. If you decrease worry in your life, you will therefore be a more positive person.
What Happens to Negative People in the Workplace
In your ministry, if you fall into the trap of being a negative person, you will hinder your team’s ability to work well together, be creative, communicate properly, and motivate one another. If you’re negative, you not only hinder your performance, but everyone else around you.
The moral of this article is to try to find the glass half full. Seek to be a positive person. Ask the Lord to remove worry from your heart and increase optimism in how you live. This will take your leadership to new levels!
Do you have any additional thoughts on optimism vs. pessimism? Let me know in the comment section below or on social media!