I’ve heard that each of us possesses a ‘negativity bias’. A what? It’s a tendency to be more adversely affected by bad words or events than good, positive ones. One critical comment about my morning sermon and all the good ones (if there are any–see what I mean?!) get tossed out the window. That wisecrack gets carried home. Complimentary ones rarely make it to the driveway.
It’s said that to overcome a negative experience requires four positive ones. Cutting comebacks take a gargantuan effort to right their wrong. One good word doesn’t equal a bad one. Their caustic mouthful will do a number on our emotions, requiring a tall order to bounce back from.
Resonates like this warning from the Bible–‘And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell’ (James 3:6). Watch your mouth, as we’d say in New Jersey!
One zinger feels like a knife in your heart. The same with bad experiences. Don’t expect to jump up immediately after being beaten down. Takes time. The scars linger though fade some with the Lord’s help. Be patient… like I’m not!
Something goes wrong in my life and I’m back in Margaret Hague Hospital in isolation at the Sister Kenney Polio Ward with absolutely no idea what’s happened. My world turns upside down… at age two.
Trust me–those feelings of abandonment and loneliness never totally leave me, which is another good reason to comb the Bible for God’s promises. I dig for them holding on for good measure. For it will take a lot of Jesus’ promises to overcome childhood losses.
With kindness, watch what words you say to yourself. Replace the negative with Jesus’ promises and warmth. Up the ante four times. Keep at it. Won’t come easy. Satan’s grip is tight. But Jesus’ is tighter. Ultimately, depend on Him.
Thank you, Jesus, for keeping me close to you no matter what. Amen.