“Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.”
Caleb made a very insightful statement to Joshua about their return after spying the land of Canaan. He said that the ten spies who were negative “made the heart of the people melt.” Whether or not those spies intended for their words to be so powerful is not the issue, the issue is their words had powerful consequences that they could not undo. The negativity they portrayed immediately impacted the ability of others to follow the LORD. Several observations can be taken from the power of negativity.
First, being negative is a choice. Those spies chose to be negative about what they saw just like Joshua and Caleb chose to be positive. Being negative is a choice an individual makes. Being negative is a sinful and selfish choice people make so that they can get their own way. The main reason people are negative is because they didn’t get what they wanted; therefore, they choose to find the negative in everything that is done to prove their disagreement with what happened. You will never overcome a negative mindset until you start admitting that you have a selfish and sinful decision-maker.
Second, your negativity always affects others. A negative spirit is like an infectious disease that spreads quickly to destroy the potential of God’s work. The negative spirit of the ten spies kept the children of Israel from going into the Promised Land for forty years. It would be terrible if your negative spirit is keeping your church from becoming what the LORD wants it to become. I have seen many churches hindered because of the negative spirit of one affecting many other believers in the church. You may think you can cover up your negative spirit, but you can’t. You had better deal with your negative spirit as quickly as you can if you don’t want it to stop others from doing what the LORD wants them to do.
Third, you can’t undo the effects of a negative spirit. The problem with being negative is what it causes you to say to others. If the ten spies had repented of their negative spirit, they still could not have taken back how their negativity affected others. One moment of negativity affects others for a lifetime. Your negative words sow seeds of doubt in the minds of those who heard your negativity which will keep them from living the life of faith. You can try to undo what your negative spirit caused, but as much as you try, your attempts will never be able to take back how far your negative spirit spread.
What is the answer to overcoming a negative spirit and atmosphere? Caleb revealed how he overcame it when he said, “…but I wholly followed the LORD my God.” My friend, a negative atmosphere can only be overcome by wholly following the LORD. If you are not all-in for the LORD, the negative atmosphere of this world will affect you. Keeping your eyes on the LORD and wholly following Him is the answer to being positive in a negative world.
Do you find yourself being negative more often than not? Realize that the power of negativity will adversely affect those whom you love the most. Let me encourage you to keep your eyes on the LORD so that the negative atmosphere of this world doesn’t keep you from having a positive outlook on the life of faith.