Transformational Tuesday

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A generational curse is not God putting a jinx or a spell on your family; but rather it is the consequences of unhealthy traditions passed down from one generation to the next. These actions lead to sin, which separate us from God.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
(Ephesians 4:29, NASB)

Transformational Tuesday: Negativity

If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all! 

We’ve all heard this phrase before, but how true is it actually? Do we hold our tongues or do we rush to spew out absurdities? Oftentimes our negativity is second nature because it has been ingrained into us from long ago.

When you think of negativity maybe you think of your mother who always complained about her job, her weight, her life yet never did anything about it. Perhaps you think about a dad who was over-protective and would always keep you from doing things because he felt something bad would happen to you. Maybe you had a grandmother, aunt, or cousin who changed your view of joy because of the evil they allowed to happen to you or the wicked ways they spoke to you…you’ll never be nothing, you’re ugly, good things don’t happen to people like you, and so on.

Negativity has always been the houseguest we were too afraid to kick out and too ashamed to admit was family.

Now, you’re an adult who embraces this same pessimistic attitude because it was the norm for you growing up. Today, when you hear someone say it’s a beautiful day outside, you easily respond with, “well it’s probably going to rain” because hey, that’s how you always viewed life…as things being too good to be true.

Sadly, the generational curse of negativity has affected most of us, but now that you know it, what will you do about it? Ask yourself the following questions:

Has negativity caused strain between my children and me? Has contentiousness led to a broken marriage? Has complaining created a barrier between my sisters from church and myself? Has unenthusiastic behavior led to the loss of a promotion or approval on my job? If so, it’s time! Time to:

1. Renew your mind – (Romans 12:2) Even if it is going to rain, no need to dampen anyone else’s joy by harping on it. Everyday is another day to be thankful. We need to get to a point where we develop the mind of Christ, who seasoned his words with grace, left people with truth, and who’s love led Him to give up His life for us. Will the way your mind operates now lead to these same results?

2. Redirect your thinking – (Isaiah 55:8-9) While you’re still thinking about mama who said you weren’t going to amount to anything, Jesus is trying to remind you that He’s already completed the work He began in you! Challenge their negative ways with positive living! Think about His truths, which are much higher and better than another’s disapproval of you.

3. Refocus your outlook – (Hebrews 12:2) When you’re looking unto Jesus, your circumstances will appear totally different. It doesn’t change the fact that they’re there, but it changes how you respond in the midst of them. Focusing on Jesus leads to speaking about His mercy, praying for His peace, and thanking Him for His goodness.

Take a moment to reflect: Who’s the negative force in your family; who’s the one who can rarely find the good in anything? Is it you? Is it a sibling, parent, or close family friend? Before trying to assume why they’re negative, realize that it’s not up to you to change them, you’re only responsible for changing you. That means either the way you’ve been responding to them or the way you need to restrain your own negative self!

Being negative doesn’t happen overnight; it has been taught, performed, and passed down from generation to generation. This means it won’t be wiped away overnight either. Small steps of positive thinking, engagement, or withdrawal will lead to a healthier you and a healed family.

So, whether you had a worry-wart parent who instilled a negative fear in you, or if a traumatic experience has clouded your judgment of God’s justice and protection; or whether you’ve decided to play the devil’s advocate in your family, you must know that the enemy is using negativity to keep you troubled, unsatisfied, and tainted. He wants you to miss out on God’s great joy! The question is will you allow him to use you or will you allow the Lord to lead you?

Does this mean you’ll read this and immediately start thinking positively? Chances are you won’t, but what we hope will happen is that you begin to notice “when” you’re being negative, cantankerous, and contentious and learn how to use a few biblical and practical tools to circumvent that thinking.

What can you do to break the generational curse of negativity in your family?

Once you identify what has been plaguing your family, you are responsible for breaking it…the cycle stops with you.

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