Dealing with Negative Me
Ships don’t sink because of the water around them, they sink when the water around them gets in. Junk is going to happen be we don’t need to allow it in our heart, soul and mind. When we do, we become negative.
And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” 7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, 8 thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.” 9 And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children.
Negative people struggle with these three things:
1. Script elaborate plans
Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps
We make elaborate plans so we can control the situation.
A 2015 study showed that 85% of what subjects worried about, never happened with the 15% that did happen, 79% of subjects discovered either they could handle the difficulty better than expected, or the difficulty taught them a lesson worth learning. This means that “97% of what you worry over is not much more than a fearful mind punishing you with exaggerations and misperceptions.”
We must be careful we don’t choose scripting plans over trusting God.
2. Exaggerate Everything They Hear
If our mind isn’t daily washed in the water of God’s Word, it because incredibly easy to take every piece of news to the worst case scenario.
Jacob’s messengers never said Esau’s men were armed or ready for battle but Jacob immediately became “greatly afraid and distressed.”
Avoid the temptation to exaggerate every bit of information and if you find yourself doing it, realize you are slipping into a negative mindset and need your mind renewed by God’s Word.
3. Have a 911 Prayer Life
Negative people don’t have a devotional time but an emergency prayer time.
Jacob is praying for the wrong deliverance. Instead of praying for deliverance from Esau, he should be praying for deliverance from himself.
Jacob needed a change on the inside to be able to face the stuff on the outside. The last part of Genesis 32 is Jacob’s encounter and wrestling match with God. It’s here that God does a work in Jacob and changes his name to Israel. Jacob needed to meet God before he met Esau. The result of this is found in Genesis 33:4
“But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.”
Paul gives us a New Testament example of this principle in 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed
It’s the treasure on the inside that makes it possible to handle whatever happens on the outside.