The introduction to my book, Staying Positive in a Negative World, begins with the following personal experience:
The Sunday Morning Service had just ended.
Members of the congregation were filing out of the church, shaking hands and exchanging greetings. The bond between us was new but familiar.
Then one of the worshippers stopped to ask if I might consider writing something to help those struggling with negative attitudes.
I’m so negative, he said. I’m negative about the church-about everything.
Millions who exit church services and others who never enter them are defeated by this destructive attitude. Negativism is a thief, robbing life of adventure and joy. This enemy affects every institution of society. It weakens families, slows down churches in their outreach and even the economy of nations is drained of needed vitality by this crippling condition that causes its victims to expect little and attempt less.
There is a better way to live. Positively!
In his book Life is Tremendous! Charlie Jones said learning to live begins with developing positive attitudes and inner vision. He then explains that the first step in learning to live is learning to say positive things all the time.
This is sound advice because words are powerful. What we say affects others, making winners or losers out of them and placing us under obligation to be positive and faith building in all we say.
King Solomon agreed, writing: Heaviness in the heart of a man makes it stoop, but a good word makes it glad? (Proverbs 12:25).
I am indebted to many who have shared good words with me when I have needed them. Just when I’ve been about to head down into a valley, God has sent someone along with a word to lead me on to higher ground. This has happened so many times that I am careful now to listen for positive words from others I meet throughout the day.
Empires have been built by those who were able to motivate others through their powerful and inspiring words. On the other hand, churches and other organizations have been destroyed by negative words and attitudes.
When I learned how quickly a church takes on the personality of its pastor, I saw how important it is to be positive in what I say. If we were launching a radio ministry, starting another branch church or deciding to construct a new building, I knew I must convey a positive attitude to my congregation. Why should these people of faith follow a minister who had ideas about outreach but wasn’t sure if these ideas would succeed or fail? I believed God could lead us victoriously in any project we attempted and therefore I could speak of success without any reservations.
Staying positive in this negative world assures more than growing churches. It also lifts burdens and develops strong love bonds among families and friends.