What is a Christian response to the negativity rampant in society?

Since the fall of mankind, it is a natural reaction for people to be negative or complain about the hardships in their lives and the world around them. The world is still under the power of sin, so it is true that there are always things that we could be negative about. However, in Christ we can rise above the negativity, knowing there is a reality far greater and countless things for which to be grateful.

Even as Christians, it is easy for us to fall into the negativity that surrounds us, so we have to choose to remember to take heart and remember that ultimately God is in control (John 16:33). Hardship does not surprise God nor is it too much for Him to handle. If we put our trust in Him, He is faithful to walk with us through the difficulties. Grumbling and complaining has always been distasteful to God and it should be to us, as well (Numbers 14:27; John 6:43; 1 Corinthians 10:10–11). A lot of times the temptation to complain and enter into negativity is rooted in fear. We are afraid of how the struggles in our lives and the world around us are going to resolve. We need to remind ourselves to not enter into complaining or fear: "for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control" (2 Timothy 1:7).

Hopelessness is a common response to the darkness within and around us. People are tempted to believe that things cannot really turn around for them; they believe that the wrongs in the world cannot be righted. Our Christian response to the negativity of hopelessness should be to hope in God and use that hope to encourage others (Psalm 43:5). We have the promise within Scripture that God will be faithful to complete His good work and fulfill His promises to us (Philippians 1:6). We have this hope "as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul" (see Hebrews 6:17–20; see also Luke 6:20–23).

God gives us faith; we do not have to succumb to the negativity around us. This doesn't mean that we ignore struggles that we or others are going through or that we pretend they don't bother us. There are real problems and issues in our lives and in the world, and we shouldn't turn a blind eye to them. We can cry out to God and bring our concerns to Him. As Christians, God invites us to cast all our anxieties on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7), and when we do this, He empowers us to help and encourage others.

As Christians who rise above the surrounding negativity, we stand out as beacons of hope to the world around us: "Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:14–15). When we have confidence in God's care for us, we can be lights for Him, showing His forgiveness, love, and care to those around us (Matthew 5:14; Ephesians 4:32; 1 John 5:14). We can be the hands and feet of Jesus on the earth, carrying out His plans and purposes (1 Corinthians 12:27).

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