Thursday, February 26, 2015

Making the Negative Positive - Martin Wiles

Then the people complained and turned against Moses. “What are we going to drink?” they demanded. Exodus 15:24 NLT

Positives can be formed from negatives.

I remember very little about math beyond the basics, along with a small amount of algebra. I was once asked to teach a sixth grade math class. While I knew the material, I was quite uncomfortable being the instructor. When we arrived at positives and negatives, the kids became confused. Especially when I taught them that two negatives create a positive. Generating a positive from a negative is possible after all. 

Moses had quite a few negatives in the bunch he led out of Egypt. When six million people start complaining, one has a problem. We don’t have any water. We don’t have any meat. We’re tired of this manna. Things were better back in Egypt. Who made you the boss? Just a few of the statements Moses had to deal with. Moses wasn’t successful in turning all these negatives into a positive, but with God’s assistance, he made a valiant attempt. 

Murmuring occurs when my perception is flawed. I’m not viewing the situation as God does or wants me to. Because of this, a negative spirit takes over, and I begin complaining about my circumstances or a particular person. The Israelites didn’t see what God was doing.

Understanding people and circumstances can cut down on my negativism. Moses knew the people he led were a stubborn lot. I—like everyone else, am a product of my childhood experiences. If I grew up around murmuring, I’m likely to do it as well.

Being around others who have a complaining spirit is contagious. Multiplying two negatives makes a positive—so does multiplying two positives. When I love and encourage those who are negative, the chances of them altering their attitudes increases. Dealing with negative people requires God’s wisdom—only he can change their heart, but my positivism will go a long way in influencing them toward the same end.

Are you allowing someone else’s negative spirit to affect your positive outlook on life?

Prayer: Father, make us the bright light of encouragement to those who suffer with a negative attitude. 

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