Why overcoming negativity is crucial to fruitful ministry

April 29, 2021

One of the greatest enemies of longevity in ministry is negativity. This disease presents its hideous face in many ways in our personal lives and ministries.

Like many other hindrances to our walk with the Lord and our relationships with family, friends and those we lead in our churches, habitual negative thinking is like a metastasized cancer. It may start in exceedingly small ways, but it almost always spreads and can even dominate our attitudes and actions toward people, including those whom we love most.

Are there people or situations that always push you into negative thinking? Or do you excoriate yourself anytime you make a mistake or hear a word of criticism? Yes, negative thoughts can also be aimed at ourselves.

Negative thoughts and actions can have disastrous impacts on both our hearts and our ministries. Negativity is displeasing to our Father God and counterproductive to our efforts to know Christ and to make Him known.

Therefore, we need a plan to be able to surrender our hearts to God’s patient guidance in this area. As Jesus said in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The apostle Paul had many reasons in his life to be negative. But through the love and direction of Christ, the Holy Spirit excised this cancer in his life.

Negative thoughts and actions can have disastrous impacts on both our hearts and our ministries.

Philippians 4:8-9 has been one of God’s truth-giving tutors for me to fight this insidious obstruction throughout my life. Allow these words to permeate your heart today.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

We find the battle begins in our heart and is waged in our minds. Isaiah 26:3 states, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” In his commentary on Philippians, Warren Wiersbe puts it this way: “Wrong thinking leads to wrong feeling, and before long the heart and the mind are pulled apart.”

To be victorious in the trenches of fighting these destructive perceptions, we must “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” as Paul challenged us in 2 Corinthians 10:5.

Based on Paul’s instruction in Philippians 4, here is a strategy to help fight against negativity. Consider meditating on each of these eight categories, one per day, for as long as you are able: true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue and praiseworthy.

You might consider thinking about one of these things as you drive. Or maybe have a conversation with your spouse or a friend about what one of these concepts means to them. Explore. Evaluate. Consider. Let God enlighten and lighten your heart. Start today.

I pray you will not only be encouraged but changed from being prone to having negative thoughts to being in control of them. In God’s time, I pray you will find deliverance from hurtful thoughts to freedom in Christ.

This transformation will be a major step toward perseverance in the ministry into which God has called and led you.


by Michael Cummings 
/  Contract worker for Church Health and Revitalization  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Your generosity demonstrates being on mission together

I am blown away by the generosity of North Carolina Baptists. It’s amazing to see what God does and how He moves when independent, autonomous local churches come together for the shared mission of taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. This is what it means to be on mission...

Will the Supreme Court affirm the sanctity of life? Here are 5 specific ways you can pray

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this week for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that has the potential to reshape the legal landscape surrounding abortion. It’s a key moment that could lead to more protections for preborn humans made in the image...

How to handle holiday stress without stressing out

Family. Just the word brings so many comforting and positive thoughts to mind: love, support, fellowship, unity, bond and closeness. Although family means all these things, there are some difficult words that come to mind as well: conflict, loss, hurt, disagreements and...

12 ways to build thanksgiving into your life

We have so much for which to be grateful today. I fear, though, that we too often limit our expressions of thanksgiving to only this day. Because the Apostle Paul tells us to “give thanks in everything” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), we need to practice thanksgiving. Here are some...

NC Baptists address sexual abuse at annual meeting

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) leaders took proactive steps to help churches prevent sexual abuse and care well for survivors during its recent annual meeting, which drew 1,150 messengers to the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro on Nov. 8-9....

NC Baptists celebrate being ‘On Mission Together’

GREENSBORO, N.C. — With an emphasis on the gospel and the Great Commission, North Carolina Baptists rallied around the theme of being “On Mission Together” during their 191st annual meeting, held Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 8-9 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center. The event drew 1,150 messengers...

2021 Annual Meeting: Day 2 highlights

More than 1,100 messengers from Baptist churches from across North Carolina gathered at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 8-9 for the 191st Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) annual meeting. The theme of this...

Unzicker outlines Revelation 5 vision for NC Baptists

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- North Carolina Baptists must be people marked by gospel unity and evangelistic fervor, state executive Todd Unzicker declared to messengers attending the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) annual meeting on Monday, Nov. 8 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!