Replacing the Negative with the Positive
May 17, 2023 by Logan Gassett

Facing conflict with other believers and non-believers can be difficult. As Christians, we are
called to love. Despite adopting this calling and serving it to the fullest of our abilities, we still
might experience situations and people who drag us down or could be considered as unhealthy.
Or perhaps, even the other way around depending on the challenges a person is facing in life.
Yes, God calls us to love. He also calls us to live our time on this earth like Jesus did.
Something I often forget is that Jesus corrected his disciples who walked out with little faith or
love for others. The reality of it is this: in life there is not always resolution, closure, or a “happy
ending” between two people.
So here’s the boiling question. What do we do if someone has wronged us significantly and they
show no remorse or make attempts to apologize? What if you are trying to make amends with
someone you have hurt but the other person is refusing to forgive or let go of the hurt you
caused? We see in scripture that Jesus was often cornered by the Pharisees, but He did not
feel defined by their words or their actions. He knew His identity was in God alone, because he
was God. This was shown in Luke chapter 6 as well as many other instances in the Bible.
I met a missionary a few years back who taught me something valuable. A way to replace the
negative with the positive in a tangible way. This lesson really helped me in my journey and I
pray it will help you in yours too.
Here’s how you start: find a scripture that captures the essence of the love, forgiveness, or
understanding for the other person or scenario. Write the full scripture down on sticky notes and
place the notes in your car, on your mirror, on the refrigerator, and so on. Pray this scripture out
loud anytime you think of that person and the negative or hurt feelings start to prod at you again.
Giving God our hurt is a repeating process. The action of healing in this human life can take
time, but the Bible is the balm of our wounds. Sticking with this routine of reciting scripture
instead of replaying the negative images or the hurtful words spoken can have its results (if you
work at it)! Slowly, your capacity for love and understanding for that person grows, despite the
distance or the lack of response from them.
“One day,” the missionary told me, “You might hear that person’s name being spoken out loud.
But instead of facing the feelings of hurt, judgment, and contempt, you will think of scripture.
Because you put on the armor of God.”