Negativity is contagious. It sneaks up on me, and once it sets in it can be difficult to break. When if fully sets in, it is like I am carrying extra weight on my chest. It is only through intention that it breaks.

Our kids were little with the usual challenges of raising young ones, working and managing a home. A coworker was in a difficult place in her marriage. She had much to complain about. I found myself looking for things to complain about with my husband. This went on for a short while when I noticed something shift within me when I would go into the office. I would feel a weight on my chest settle in as I went through the door.

I was ready to let go of the negativity. I remembered that my mom would never say anything negative about my dad. I chose to listen empathetically to my friend, but only speak positively about my husband.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV).

The choice to change the talk coming out of my mouth changed how I felt. The weight on my chest went away. This isn’t about ignoring true issues in a relationship. We take those directly to the person not to others. It is about looking for the good in others, offering grace and compassion. In choosing to let go of negativity, not only did I feel better, but my relationship also got better.

Do you get stuck in negative patterns? Would you benefit from a shift in perspective? How do you show grace? Share your stories here and breathe life and bring hope to others.

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