Chilly feelings of negativity washed over me like waves. I could only consider how bad and insufficient I was, not think about how blessed I am by the grace of God. My soul sank into mud and stuck fast. How do we shake those feelings off? Here’s a suggestion.
“Consider your ways. That’s a wise Sabbath Liturgy. And let me make it even more specific: consider your thoughts and attitudes, the pattern of them, their shape and drift. Are they leading you where you want to go?” – The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath by Mark Buchanan
I asked Holy Spirit to enlighten my thoughts, reveal bad habits and mindsets. While I prayerfully sought answers, these feelings surfaced: shame, fear of missing out, discouragement and anxiety. They all stem from this: Inadequacy.
Inadequacy has its roots in feeling like we’re not enough and we cannot be used by God. Besides plenty of evidence to the contrary. Even though we can trust His word. Despite desperately seeking to overcome our intransigent sense of insufficiency.
What can we do about it? God’s word is clear.
“…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” – 2 Cor. 10:5
My 10 tips for overcoming negativity
1) Learn to discern unwelcome, untrustworthy messages from the world and the enemy of my soul.
2) Feed my mind with positive, helpful affirmations and promises from God’s word.
3) Believe I am who God says I am and I can do whatever He calls me to.
4) Believe who loved ones and friends say I am, rather than dismiss their opinions as false.
5) Remember that God doesn’t do carbon copies. He made me unique. I’m a one-off in the best possible way. My task is to concentrate on being the best me possible, by His grace.
6) Remember the gifting I have been given. The individual mix of abilities, talents and characteristics that make me unlike anyone else. More than adequate in God’s sight.
7) Trust that I am loved and I am enough. Especially when I feel shame or mess up. Because God loves me unconditionally.
8) Recognise my personal trigger points: e.g physical and mental fatigue, being in need of rest or a meal, making social media comparisons, ingratitude and lack of contentment.
9) Consider how much I need God. Because He alone is my all-sufficiency for every need and He is always more than enough for me.
10) Look for ways to actively help and support others and encourage them to see how very special they are.
Why we need to consider a soul inventory
While this is far from an exhaustive list, I hope it has been helpful to you. Taking a soul inventory is a wise thing to do on a regular or seasonal basis because it helps pinpoint problem areas requiring help. As a result, we are more in tune with our inner selves.
Therefore, the gift of set apart time, to consider our attitudes and behaviour and reflect more mindfully on our lives, helps us to make room for better soul breathing space and lose our negative attitudes.
My friend, may you never forget how very precious you are to God. Consider the Cross and the price Jesus paid to rescue your soul. And think of the daily graces God bestows on you too.
“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” – Luke 12:24 NIV
Why negativity doesn’t have the final say
Consequently, negativity doesn’t have the final say in our lives because of who we really are in Christ: saved, redeemed, beloved, blessed and infinitely precious to God.
Jesus rescues us from negativity, from stinking thinking and sin. He alone can offer us the redemption our souls need to become strong, full of faith, hope, joy and love. And that’s the best Easter message I want to leave you with as I take a break to visit family.
PS: My new book is now available for you to explore! I hope and pray it will provide helpful soul food if you need a fresh infusion of hope.
It’s called Embracing Hope: Soul Food to Help Chase Away the Blues and it’s an eclectic mix of poetry, soul exhale reflections and blessings.
You can get it as an e-book or paperback copy here.
Happy Easter, dear friends! As you celebrate, may you be blessed with the resurrection joy God’s Good News brings. With lots of love until we meet again on April 29th. xox
Dear Joy, oh what precious thoughts to remember again that He is our all sufficient loving Father! All of my inadequate feelings can never change that fact. And I love that song from Rend Collective too. Even in my places of utter weakness here, He still has rescued and called me His own. Such beautiful Good News today! I pray you have a lovely time with your family, and some much needed rest after birthing your beautiful book! Love and hugs Dear Friend! xoxo
Dear Bettie, I love how you have focused on the essential thing in saying that our feelings of inadequacy cannot alter the fact of God’s all-sufficiency. I think our places of weakness grant us a privileged perspective on God’s goodness, mercy, grace and strength. Because we are dependent on those things each day. Yes, He calls us His own, and that’s the glorious truth Jesus came to reveal to us! Thank you so much for your loving support and prayers. I’m so grateful for them as I prepare to go away in a few days. Though the journey is arduous and draining, we are looking forward to spending quality time with our family. Love and hugs to you too, dear friend! xoxo 💜
“Therefore, the gift of set apart time, to consider our attitudes and behaviour and reflect more mindfully on our lives, helps us to make room for better soul breathing space and lose our negative attitudes.” Oh, Joy, thank you for these tips. I think I need this set apart time every day. When I don’t take the time to read the Word and pray and remember who I am in Christ, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking I’m not good enough. Blessings and much love to you, dear Joy! xoxo
Gayl, you are not alone in needing set apart time like this. I desperately need it too, especially when I am extra busy, stressed and pressed, like I am this week. If we’re feeling fraught and overwhelmed, we’re apt to fall into the trap you have described. I pray that God will grant us the wisdom to know when to pull back, regroup, take a break, set aside some soul breathing space and rest and relax in His presence. That way lies peace and positivity. I’m glad the tips were helpful to you. Blessings and much love, dear friend! xoxo 💜