There are two certainties for every person who has ever or will ever live. One is that every person who is born will also die. The other is that no two people are exactly the same, and, therefore, every life journey is unique. Even so, because we are all made in the image and likeness of God, as fellow human beings, we have some things in common. For instance, we all have to eat, drink and sleep to survive. It’s logical to assume, then, that just as there are things we need to do or can do to survive and be healthy, there must also be things we (collectively speaking) might be better off without in life. This post is going to focus on 4 things that typically cause a lot of destruction, stress and ill-health in people’s lives.
The sooner you rid yourself of them, the better. There’s no magic wand to wave to immediately eliminate these 4 things from your life. In fact, it can often be quite challenging. Being mindful of these things, however, is the first step toward becoming free of them. These things are never assets. They usually cause problems and may have immediate and far-reaching adverse effects on your life.
Negativity is one of the 4 things to get rid of for a happy lifestyle
With so much bad news pummeling us from all sides every day, it’s challenging to keep a positive mindset. Many people say that the past few years have caused them to become pessimistic or cynical. That’s understandable. However, if negativity has crept into your everyday mindset and disposition, now is a good time to change the way you think. You can never control another person’s behavior. What you do have control over are your responses to people, situations and circumstances.
If you’ve fallen into a habit of negativity, you can bet that it’s going to take a toll on your mental, emotional, spiritual and, perhaps, physical health. Do you find yourself frowning a lot? Are you quick to complain, even if it’s just in your own thoughts? Have you become overly critical of others or of yourself? When a problem arises, do you automatically expect the worst, possible outcome? If you’re nodding your head in agreement with one or more of these scenarios, you have developed a “negative mindset” in life. The human mind is a powerful thing. Positive thinking aids in healing. Ridding your life of chronic negativity improves quality of life and promotes joy. Setbacks, disappointments and suffering are part of life. Your thought process and attitude will either help you or break you.
Gossip is one of 4 things that never benefit anyone
In God’s Word, Ephesians 4: 29 says, “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.” This is clear instruction. No person of reason can justify gossiping after reading this passage. Gossip does the opposite of what this verse says we should do. And, in James 1:26, we read, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”
Many people have a tendency to try to justify gossip or to disguise it. Sadly, there are even Christians who do this through false piety. An example would be someone announcing to a group of people that another person “might need prayers.” Is the solicitation for prayer sincere and genuine? Or, is the real intent simply to disclose to others the details of someone’s private life, especially if it involves a sensitive or controversial topic?
Gossip is often defined as “idle talk and rumor,” particularly regarding the private details of another person’s life. It’s one of 4 things you’ll want to eliminate from your life if you want to have peace of mind, improved mental health and happiness. This article provides helpful suggestions on how to avoid gossip.
Deception has got to go
In the Book of Proverbs, it says that “a fortune made by people who tell lies amounts to nothing and leads to death.” (Woah. I can think of numerous political figures who should take heed of this passage.) Jesus describes the enemy as “the father of lies.” Most of us have told lies or acted dishonestly at some point in our lives. In such cases, we hopefully have sought God’s forgiveness and committed ourselves to amending our behavior. If you have grown comfortable telling “white lies” or manipulating truth to suit your purpose, you might be dealing with a chronic “deception” habit.
Hiding truth, promoting false beliefs, avoiding discussion to avoid having to be truthful, etc., are all traits of a deceptive personality. As Sir Walter Scott said in 1808, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” A person can never have true peace of mind if he or she is always trying to cover tracks because of dishonesty.
Are there toxic people in your life?
Toxicity is also one of the 4 things your life would no doubt be better off without. Even one toxic relationship is enough to ruin your health. Sadly, many people have numerous toxic relationships in their lives. Getting rid of toxicity in your life can definitely be “easier said than done.” This is especially true if someone close to you is the toxic person. While you might not be able to distance yourself 100% from a toxic person, there are steps you can take to protect your mental and emotional health.
This post from our archives contains some helpful suggestions. A toxic person will drain you. Dealing with a toxic relationship requires time, effort and energy. At what expense? For every moment you spend defending yourself or trying to avoid a person’s drama, you’re losing time you could be spending on productive or joyful things. Learning to prevent toxicity doesn’t mean you don’t love someone or care about a friend, etc. It simply means you care about and love yourself enough to protect your health.
Have you struggled with any of these 4 things?
If one or more of these 4 things are impeding your quality of life, it doesn’t make you a bad person. Most of us have struggled with at least one of these issues at some time in our lives. If you’ve successfully rid your life of negativity, gossip, deception or toxicity, we’d love to know how you did it. By sharing your experiences and ideas, you might be able to help someone else who is trying to overcome these bad habits.