I felt fortunate in the fact that I had no addictions until I realized one day I did. I was several decades into my life by that time, and I realized I’d basically been addicted for most of that. Hello, my name is Jennifer and I’m a negaholic.
So many decent families of decent, responsible people have a problem with negativity. Relationship experts say that in order for a relationship to stay healthy, every criticism or negative interaction should be balanced by six affirmations. That six-to-one ratio keeps a relationship thriving. But so seldom do we keep that ratio, especially in close relationships. Once interactions between family members become characterized by negative focus and criticism, even a decent home quickly becomes a toxic place. Watching family interactions as I grew up, I’d learned how to be critical and problem-focused. And I myself had become that way. Now, I saw, God called me to learn to identify and accentuate the positive.
Positive patterns of thought must be cultivated; they don’t just happen. What does just happen is negative patterns. The lower part of the brain which engages more quickly, tends to be biased toward negative information. The higher brain is more capable of holding positive information, but it engages more slowly, and with more effort. Negative information is stored almost instantly in long term memory. Positive information must be kept in mind for 12 seconds to be recalled long-term.
The gospel is good news. Not bad news masking as good advice. In Jesus, God has given us an infinite gift in Jesus and as we focus on that unspeakable gift, God will rewire our brains toward gratitude.
When was the last time you truly appreciated the good news? Think about it. Because of God’s gift of Jesus, we have eternal life. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. He did not loan Him, rent Him, lease Him, or merely offer Him. He gave Him to become one with humanity for the rest of eternity. And by simply believing that good news we will live forever in uninterrupted bliss. Think about that for a moment.
And let us pray. Lord, fill our hearts with the good news, then make us ambassadors for your kingdom. Make our feet beautiful as we follow you to places where we can share the good news. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” Isaiah 52:7