I usually catch a bit of the US news in the mornings while preparing breakfast and lunch for my school going kid and recently I’ve been noticing that the stuff spewed by the anchors’, is downright negative. It’s amazing how white is black and up is down. A spirit of deception and fog envelops the world. My favourite catch phrase; you can say one thing in 5 different ways depending on your audience or frame of mind, positive or negative. The news anchors’ take this to a whole new level.
Bias is inherent in every view point and I’ve come to believe this is not a conscious choice. I have seen many a person make decisions and utter opinions that are so contrary to facts and realities that it seems unreal. They do so with utter conviction that I’m left scratching my head in frustration and disbelief. But they genuinely believe they are right. Once negativity takes hold of a person, they can no longer see when they’re hurting another, or lying or doing the myriad things that we call little white lies or minor sins. And my only recourse to this nonsense is the belief that a deep spirit of deception and negativity has permeated our universe. It causes obfuscation and manipulation to fit the agenda of the evil one who is very subtle in his ways to cause confusion and chaos in our world.
Once negativity and evil get in the door, it just spreads. Its tentacles move slowly like a slithering snake, gliding in and out. A friend once told me, in the natural order, negativity packs a lot more weight than positivity and is human’s first natural inclination. I was not sure I believed her, but looking around me, I wonder if perhaps there is some truth in that.
How can one get out of it when one doesn’t even recognize that it’s there? I mean, I see it in people around me. But let me back up here lest I sound arrogant and self-righteous. The million dollar question, am I a negative person, is it in me? Maybe I just can’t see it in myself. I think of the verse in Mathew, chapter 7: 3-5 – why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
How can one be sure we don’t have it and its not colouring our perception or actions?
Upon reflection, I can conclude that a good way to minimize its impact is to pray to the Lord for the gift of love to fill our hearts. To pray to the Holy Spirit that He may guide our every thought and action.
I tried this a long time ago and can attest to the manifestation of the fruits of such a prayer. I was surrounded by some people whom I just didn’t like. Not as in hate or anything more detestable, I just didn’t like them in a passive way and I went about each day with the thought, I don’t like them, every time I saw them. Until I had had enough of my wayward thinking and turned to the Lord and said, can you help me love them? I asked the Lord every day for long while. And lo and behold, I gradually stopped thinking the ‘I don’t like them’ mantra. Soon after, they didn’t bother me anymore until I realized I actually began to care about them. Love had indeed replaced the negative emotion of dislike. The change was drastic enough for me to notice and I realized the power of prayer. God does listen to prayers, I have no doubt. He heard my cry and answered me. He actually filled my heart with love for them. It was a tangible thing. No longer did they irritate me. I went out of my way to do things for them.
Now I like to pray for everything. Even for families who are hurting or shrouded in mists of negativity. And I pray for myself too, that my mind be filled with good thoughts, my mouth will bring forth good sayings and my heart be filled with love. I still falter from time to time – but then again I realize I’m human and subject to all the frailties and faults that being human entails. This gives me the incentive to pray the same prayer every day, for love to overtake my heart. For the gifts of wisdom and discernment; to be able to see right from wrong. And you know what, I hope the Lord hears me. I think He does!
Silver and gold are not mine to aspire… but love from the Lord is all I desire.