|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “The end of anxiety and despair”
Our Bible verse for today: “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy – dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “No nattering nabobs of negativism, please”
The term “Nabob” has been around for hundreds of years. It goes back at least to the early 1600s in England. It was derisively used to describe businessmen and adventurers who went off to colonial India, made fortunes, and then came home to England to live leisurely lives of wealth and affluence, but they were snooty about it. They were way too impressed with themselves and they were arrogant. Therefore, they were called “nabobs” and they were lampooned and laughed at.
In more modern times, the term was used by presidential speech-writer William Safire in a 1970 speech for Vice-President Spiro Agnew. Agnew applied it to news reporters who he felt were unfairly dogging the Nixon administration. He called them “nattering nabobs of negativism”.
We all have to contend with our own nattering nabobs of negativism. They come in two varieties – physical and spiritual – people and demons. On the demonic side, they’re the voices in your head that whisper and shout the lies of Satan. (Also, often, the voices are of our own making. It’s not Satan, it’s us. We’re being tormented by our own voice. Either way, it’s a nattering nabob of negativism and it is harmful).
The other variety of nattering negativism comes from other people. They’re the nitpickers and fault-finders. They’re present in politics, the news media, the workplace, and in neighborhoods. Our world is filled with them. In the Christian world they’re the ones who seem to think fault-finding is a spiritual gift and that they’ve been appointed by God to go into all the world and find fault in the lives of others. They too are nattering nabobs of negativism and they can be annoying, or even harmful.
What to do with them? Well, refuse to put up with them – in your head and in your life. Shut them up and shut them out. For the voices in your head, Paul gives us the answer in Philippians 4:8 – intentionally flood your mind with lots of good positive influences. And for the actual people, David addressed that in yesterday’s devotional in Psalm 122:1 – choose to be with people who are uplifting and positive rather than negative and fault-finding.
Nattering nabobs of negativism are a common source of anxiety and despair in our lives. If you have one in your life, perhaps at work, or even worse, in your church, try to help them see the problems and damage they are causing with their nitpicking, fault-finding, and negativism. If they won’t stop, then distance yourself from them if you can. You don’t need that in your life.
I urge you not to be a nattering nabob of negativism, and I also encourage you not to put up with them either. Life is hard enough without harping negative people making it even harder.
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