27 Question 4

There are so many reasons that a person can be critical and negative.  Perhaps they were brought up in that type of environment.  Perhaps they are jealous of others.  Perhaps they have low self-esteem and try to bring others down to make themselves feel better.  Perhaps they are suffering from depression.  Like I said, there are so many reasons for this type of behavior.

I can certainly understand your frustration in dealing with this, but I am thankful that you have not abandoned your friend because of it.  Most negative people are not happy and need someone like you to be a friend to them, in spite of their negative ways.

So, what can you do to help your friend?  Let’s look at 1 Timothy 4:12, which says, “…be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”  Since your friend’s attitude is so negative, you need to show your friend what a proper attitude looks like by having a positive attitude yourself.  Let’s read Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  This is the attitude that the Lord wants believers to have.  We should be positive because we are the children of God.  We have the promise of God to meet all our needs as we read in Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  We have the promise of eternal life because of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as we read in Titus 3:5-7, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  Plus, we have the security that our blessed savior will never abandon us, as we read in Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  Let’s read that verse from the NIV, which gives a more literal meaning.  It says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.””  So, besides having a positive attitude, we learn here to have an attitude that is free from greed, being content with what we have.  We have all our needs met, and we have the ever-abiding presence of our Lord.  What more could we possibly need?

With those things in mind, we have to wonder: How can a Christian be negative?  If we get our eyes off the Lord and become occupied with the world, we can easily develop negative thinking.  You didn’t say whether your friend is a believer or not, but I encourage you to speak to your friend about the free gift of salvation that the Lord gives to all that put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.  If your friend is a Christian, then share with them these verses and try to be the example they need to show them how to stop being so negative and critical.