Negative Influences

Fox with Ale and Chicken LegThings around and about us that do us harm, holding us back, preventing our progress and growth 

Children are more influenced by sermons you act than by sermons you preach. Sean Reichle

Every thought is a seed.  If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious. Bill Meyer

Each of us has an internal balance scale, positive influences influence positively, negatives influences negatively. Randall Burkhalter

   If we were asked to list 10 negative influences in our life we probably would not have a lot of difficulty in doing so. It is rather amazing that we seem to know what it is that is holds us back, causes us harm and prevents our growth and success; yet we do little or nothing about it.

    In making our list, some of these “negatives” would be rather obvious while some of them may require a little thought. Our list would provide us powerful insight. Think about it, right there in front of us, in black and white, would be our personal demons, flaws, vices, bad habits, fears, doubts, limiting beliefs and so forth. If we could significantly reduce or eliminate the power and influences of these bad things, where could we be? How much better might we become? Would our personal performance and overall effectiveness show significant improvement? Would we also find more joy and happiness?

    It seems rather logical; get rid of some of our negative influences and see our life improve. Of course, it is easier said than done.  We have embraced these influences through choices we have made. We have allowed these bad seeds to be implanted into our psyche. We must roll up our sleeves and get rid of these undesirable weeds. The good news is we really do have a choice over the things that we allow to influence us. We are free to choose to make changes in our life. Negative influences have power over us because we have chosen to let them.

    If we start changing the dynamics of the things we allow to influence us, we will begin to change. If we replace some of our negatives with things that are more positive, we will begin to move in a more positive direction. If we continue to do this systematically and methodically, we will begin to change for the better. It is simple and within our reach. The question is, “then why don’t we?” This is the question that we must answer. Are we afraid of becoming a better person? It requires taking control of all the things influencing us, eliminating the negatives and accentuating the positives. Get rid of bad seeds and plant good seeds. Monitor and manage our garden. When we control what we allow to influence in a more proactive way, we will get more positive results.

Challenge:  Make a list of 10 negative influences in your life. Think seriously of how these negative effects influence you. Imagine replacing some of them with something more positive. Think about doing this in a slow, continuous, and methodical way. See yourself changing for the better and becoming a better you. Always remember that the trip of a thousand miles begins with a first step. Take the first step! It will be a great step.

Wisdom: Progress and growth are impossible if you always do things the way you’ve always done things. Wayne Dyer  

Spiritual: (NIV)

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5, 6

If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given him.  James 1:5

We are what we are and where we are because of the choices we have made and the things that have happened to us. We are responsible for how we have reacted to them and how they have influenced us. Believing that there is little or nothing we can do is a defeatist attitude. The past is behind us, the present is now, and the future lies ahead. God stands ready, willing, and very able to help us to move in a more positive and worthy direction.   

Prayer:  Help me to have the strength, courage, and faith to remove the negative influences in my life.                         



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