Today I learned a lesson. I went upstairs to put my clothes in the dryer and I saw my stepdad. He struggles with depression and alcoholism and he is rarely positive. When I look at him, I start thinking thoughts about how much I dislike him. Today I realized why and what it was actually doing to me. Undoubtedly, he has made mistakes which have hurt me. But I must realize that I have also made mistakes that have hurt him. As a person he has his flaws but as a person I also have flaws. In front of God we stand on level ground without Christ’s help. Christ helped me by saving me. When I think about how I don’t like my stepdad, it is not about how I don’t like him as a person. What I don’t like is when he is mean spirited.
To be mean spirited is to temporarily harbor an evil spirit. When I am thinking about how much I dislike him I, too, am interacting with a negative spirit in a way that is dangerous. It not only makes my ego larger, it makes me angry and causes my thoughts to become negative. This makes me in the current moment victim to an evil spirit. However, if I were to disengage from the negative thinking I could easily dismiss the evil spirit that is attacking me. To get it out of my presence I need to either look away and try to think positive or continue to look and maybe put a smile on my face. In other words, by showing love to my stepdad I have a better chance of dissipating the darkness in him and keep it from entering myself.
When blame steps in it brings with it anger. Anger feeds negativity and dark forces and causes me to act in ways that are inconsistent with Christ’s character. Shame brings guilt and guilt brings fear of punishment which also causes me to act in ways that are inconsistent with God’s character. To be afraid of God keeps me from seeking His help. Which is why the blame and shame cycle never helps save souls it only distances them from God. The preachers that preach in negative ways that condemn and discourage are those that are seen as hypocrites immediately by children and saved folk because the look on their face and the tone of their voice scream their lack of God’s Spirit.
Sometimes I find myself thinking negative thoughts and it causes me to obviously get angry. I will then start attacking the object of my anger in my mind. That invites a mean spirit and usually causes me to feel guilt about something I’ve thought. It also puts me in danger of sinning by speaking something that would criticize or hurt someone else. It also changes the look on my face which can put people off and hurt feelings.
This all works the same with complaining. Complaining is negative and insulting to God. It obviously distances us from God. It will cause you to be tired and to look and feel old. God’s Spirit also gives us energy and natural beauty. Why is complaining insulting to God? It insists that God’s plan and His Spirit are something other than perfect. God gives us what we need when we need it and if we need something He hasn’t given us, it is clear that we should ask for it. If we don’t get it we probably don’t need it. After learning to trust God don’t throw away progress by complaining. That’s what the Israelites did and a whole bunch died because God punished them.
Worry is another negative mindset that doesn’t come from or help the Holy Spirit. Worry comes from a spirit of fear which is contrary to God’s Spirit. Worry causes striving which gives the illusion of struggle. If you catch yourself being tired a lot you should begin to wonder if you have been striving too much. It wears you out so that you’re in no condition or mood to act the way God would want you to. Even mind striving is unnecessary. What do I mean by this? Don’t try to make things happen with your mind. If you think something or do something wrong apologize – then move on. Don’t try to fix a thought with a thought because it can’t be done. It’s like trying to erase a pen mark with another pen mark. It can’t be done because in thinking of what you need to correct in order to correct it, you’ve already committed the error again. You need to say sorry, forgive your mistake and take the healing that comes with it. If you need to talk it out, you can. But you have to get out of your mind and back to earth so you can be fully present and act how Jesus died for you to act – happy.