The Dark Room

“Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure.” (Psalms 16:9 NIV)

Before the reign of the digital age, the negative of a photo had to be developed in a dark room. Many people dwell in the "dark room," a place where negative thoughts are constantly being developed and even overdeveloped. A negative of a photo is always seen in reverse spectrum. In other words, it is not viewed in its correct perspective. Negativity is simply a matter of skewed perspective.

According to its definition, negativity includes statements or acts that express contradiction, denial, or refusal. Negativity is void of affirmation or encouragement and is constantly in direct opposition to approval or acceptance. In biology, the word negative involves anything that moves or turns away from a stimulus of light. This is also true in life. Negative people often turn away or disregard anything that has to do with the light.

A few years ago, my daughter and I were coming home from the airport after a ministry trip. An ice storm had hit Atlanta the night before causing the roads to suddenly freeze over. What usually takes 45-minutes to get home took us 6-hours. As I was driving through the hazardous conditions, my fear and frustration mounted. After about an hour or so, my daughter non-chalantly said, "Well, at least we're not stranded on the side of the road like these other cars.” Being the man of faith that I was supposed to be, I replied, "You're right. Let's pray for those people," as I grabbed her hand and offered a “prayer."

Negativity is a choice: a choice to see the worst in people, places, and situations. Negative people create a tragic ending before the "movie" actually starts. Negativity spews cynicism, doubt, gloom, suspicion, and a constant sense of foreboding. Grumpy people maintain a negative point of view. A negative person feels bad even when he feels good for fear that he’ll only feel worse when he feels better. Unfortunately, medical studies seem to suggest that our bodies can even reap harmful results from a negative and gloomy outlook.

When we speak, our inflection and tone reveals our attitude and exposes our perspective. For example, we could say, “I wonder what’s going to happen today?” with a tone of expectancy or dread. Our outlook can determine our outcome. "As a man thinks in his heart so is he." (Proverbs 23:7). A pessimist should never be disappointed; because that which he believes will come true usually does. Job himself said, "What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true." (Job 3:25 NLT). Sadly, we eventually become what we behold.

According to our key passage in Psalms 16:9, when we choose to be positive, our body will naturally reap the benefits. When we choose to have a happy heart, especially in difficult circumstances, it can work like medicine to soothe our troubled mind. Conversely, a broken, depressed, and hopeless spirit actually "dries the bones." (Proverbs 17:22). It’s never worth the worry and stress it takes to maintain a negative outlook.

With all that's going on in our world (publicly or privately), it's easy and even justifiable to be negative on a daily basis. However, we must resist the natural urge to be negative. It takes faith and resolve to be a positive person. When we realize that God's GRACE has secured our salvation, that His presence is ALWAYS with us, and that He is FOR us and not against us, we should be above all the most happy people on Earth (Psalms 118:6). 

So come out of the dark room. Know that even the negative things that happen to us are being developed and transformed into God's full-color, picture-perfect plan for our life. God takes what was meant to harm us and miraculously transforms it for our good and ultimate blessing (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28).