Displace the Negative

Sometimes we are so invested in a problem that we cannot see past it. When a negative reaction or situation won’t change no matter what we try, it may be because we are trying too hard to figure out the answer. We could look at the issue from every angle, but doing so makes the problem seem bigger—probably because it’s the only thing that we are looking at.

When that happens, we need to find a different tactic. Try to put the problem aside. Go around it, or under it, or over it. Decide not to live in that negativity. Making this choice will do two important things:

First, you’ll be able to see the problem objectively. When you are too close to something, you can’t see it clearly. If we are stuck in a loop of negativity, we will never find clarity.

Secondly, if we are not stuck in the negative, we are more likely to include God. The answer to every problem is found in God. This is true not just because He knows everything, but also because He loves us and wants to help us if we include Him. If we are feeling hopeless in the deep pit of a problem, it is very hard to feel God’s love and care.

There is a great passage of Scripture that discusses this principle:

I Peter 5:6-7

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

When we keep trying to fix something in our own strength, we are not being humble. Who has the power to lift us out of our problems? God.

I find it interesting that sometimes I do not want to let go of my problems, usually out of a sense of duty to solve them. However, Paul recommends here that I cast my anxiety upon God. Why would we feel the need to carry every issue? Perhaps it is due to pride, or maybe a faulty sense of obligation. Sometimes we don’t want to let it go because we don’t want to leave it unaddressed. But I guarantee that if we give it to God, He will address it in the right time.

Here’s an experiment you can try to put this spiritual principle into motion:

First, identify an ongoing problem in your life. Perhaps it is a hurt from your past, or a particular circumstance, or a difficult relationship. Try to identify a negative problem that doesn’t seem to go away.

Second, determine to put it aside. Instead of being obsessed with finding an answer, just get outside of it. Give yourself some time away from it.

Third, displace it by connecting with God and His love. Focus on receiving God’s love. Meditate on His goodness. Humble yourself and cast your cares upon Him. Focus on joy instead of despair. Talk to God about the issue and ask for His help.

By taking these steps, you will invite God in to affect change upon the situation. This is the relevant God experiment to put into action.

Give yourself permission to stop carrying every problem. Don’t be stuck in the negativity of a problem. Step outside of it and displace it with your relationship with God.

I mean, why even bother trying to solve something without God? He’s infinitely better at it than any of us.