Today is the beginning of Lent. Last night during our time of fellowship and family we discussed the power and control of negativity and a critical spirit. From the discussion, I awoke with a passion to make a paradigm shift from death to life during this season of Lent. Habits are broken with consistent and purposeful practice over a period of time. If you have a habit of scanning over familiar verses, please don’t do that in this post. Read the verse below and see the following points God is making:
- We have a choice.
- Every day we will experience life and death, blessings, and curses.
- You will not EVER have a perfect day, but you can choose your attitude and response to the “death” or “curse” that you witness or experience.
- We have heaven on our side to help us with this choice because we can’t do it alone.
- God commands us to choose life for our best interest despite the negative or suffering we are experiencing.
- If you are willing to choose life and be an example, you will influence the next generation to be filled with God’s joy, and experience life! My words influence my children.
Deuteronomy 30:19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
If you have ever been around toxic, negative people you are influenced by their words and behaviors. When I am toxic and negative, I can feel the poison filling my mind and soul, and I witness the influence on my spouse, children, and friends. I’ve been so angry or frustrated that I have changed the mood and direction of the day. Choosing life may mean a sacrifice on your part.
In reading a Bible study someone referenced “The Long Defeat” from The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. This side of heaven, life is imperfect and we work and we go to church with sinful people (I’m one of them). We go, do, connect, and forgive, and choose life within the “long defeat” of our struggles on earth. It is in our human nature to avoid conflict, desire victory over defeat, and to desire to be on the winning team. In this pursuit, we abandon mercy and love for the “looser” –the person or situation you’ve placed on the list to be critical or negative about. And, yes, your name could be placed on that list by you. We are our worst critics.
My mouth is to be used to glorify and uplift the living God–to praise HIM! My thoughts can be changed by calling on heaven to heal my critical nature and attitude and rejoice! It’s not a denial approach of real issues and problems, it’s your attitude in the struggle. It’s using scripture to defeat the enemy.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
“Lord, my job is challenging, will you help me? God thank you for my job and the ability to pay my bills.”
“Lord, I am deeply hurt by the words of my friend. Will you guide me in forgiveness and resolution?”
God calls us to ‘bless our enemies”. The word bless literally means to “speak well of them”. When we can set healthy boundaries with toxic people, and “speak well of them” through prayer, we get our minds of the offense and heal. Can you live with hurt and forgiveness? Yes. Speaking well of our enemies is not an open door to be constantly wounded, it’s setting healthy boundaries and changing your attitude.
Here is a great video of a little boy who still experiences his sadness but chooses life.
Here is a great sermon on getting rid of our critical spirit!