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negativity

April 8, 2011

We cannot be too careful about the words we use; we start out using them and they end up using us.” ~ E. Peterson

I was sitting at the park yesterday watching my kid’s play a game on the slide where one goes up and one goes down and then they end up bumping each other off. After telling them multiple times to be careful, I almost saw my daughter go flying off the slide and that was the end of the game. Why in my right mind did I let them play this game to begin with, I kept wondering? And I began to think about the words “no,” and “don’t,” and “stop” and how many times I use those words with my children. So, maybe out of guilt or something I continued to let them play this dangerous game because I didn’t want to use those words.

I started thinking about my tendency to be so negative. I grew up in a house where there weren’t a lot of positive words spoken. It’s not like every word spoken was negative, but I so rarely heard anything good about myself or what I was achieving. I think part of it was the generation of my parents. They grew up in a time and in households with many other children or out on a farm with an older mother and father; they pretty much fended for themselves. I don’t blame them. But I don’t want to continue like them.

I’ve been pondering since yesterday on this negativity that multiplies so easily within me. Everything in my life that I struggle with always tends to point back to my issues with anxiety. My negativity breeds anxiety. I think I carry it around like a weight on my shoulders…slumped as they are.

I’ve read a lot this morning about guilt and contempt. So much of my life is a response, not to the Spirit that dwells in me, but a response to my guilt and shame. But what I did read this morning was so simple and yet I don’t do it.

David tells us in Psalm 32:
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD.”
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin
.

So, why didn’t I respond to my children? Out of guilt. Guilt of this negativity that grows within me.
Guilt that is sin.
Sin that I need to confess.
And confess with the realization that
God forgives
and then rejoice!

Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!

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