February 19, 2016

Just Say No to Negativity


I’m declaring war on negativity.

The level of vitriol coming from those who call themselves believers is concerning. “Vitriol”, by the way, was an older name for sulfuric acid – an appropriate description for the impact of a corrosive critical spirit. It seems during this election cycle entire campaigns are built upon shrill, abusive, name calling tactics…and it is scary how successful the negativity strategy has become.

Spiritual leaders are not exempt from this temptation. I’ve been in pastors conferences where the main topic of conversation in the hallway was how the main speaker didn’t use enough Scripture, or his exegesis wasn’t spot on, or the worship team was too loud or sang too many songs. No wonder criticism is rampant in the church – they’re simply following their leaders.

Negativity is a spirit of the age that must be resisted. Nowhere in Scripture is criticism and negativity lauded as spiritual gifts.  Ministries can often be known more for what they are against rather than what they are for. I like what Shane Idleman wrote in a recent article –

“I am deeply saddened by the spiritual condition of many Christians. We love to be armchair quarterbacks and diss pastors and Christian leaders, yet we have no idea of the demands they encounter and the pain they feel. Our sinful tendency is to pull others down. We may think that somehow this makes us look better. If we are truly concerned about the body of Christ we will hold our tongue. Self-righteousness has no place here. But I’m not referring to sweeping corruption and deception in the church under the rug. Wisdom is needed.”

Indeed, wisdom is needed. Resist the temptation to jump on the negativity bandwagon. I wouldn’t follow a leader (or vote for one) whose platform is based primarily on criticism of others. Ephesians 4:31-32 instructs: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outbursts, and blasphemies, with all malice, be taken away from you. And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.”

Now there’s something worth fighting for!

Follow me on Twitter at @timwdoyle.

One Comment on “Just Say No to Negativity

Debbie King
February 19, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Political affiliations do not justify acting or reacting in ways that are contrary to the biblical principals we claim to uphold. IF we declare ourselves to be Christians, then we are expected to conduct ourselves in ways that provide a clear, loving image of whom God is so that those who do not know Jesus to be the Christ will seek Him. Instead, the behaviors and attitudes you expressed in the blog, send unbelievers running. God does not give free “get-out-of-jail cards” neither does He give us the license to ignore parts of His word for the purpose of aligning ourselves with polictical systems or beliefs. God has warned us that we will be judged for every (idle) word we speak. No one is excluded from this promise. All people, (parents, preachers, and political leaders) all ages, genders, ethnicities, and nationalities are issued this same warning.


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