One of the clearly observable characteristics of successful people is that their language is positive. This doesn’t mean being unrealistic or indirect in saying what needs to be said, but people who make things happen and rally people to follow them are typically painting a positive picture of a preferred future that inspires hope. A ‘can do’ tone that speaks to what is seen with the mind’s eye can, for Christians, be a prophetic declaration of blessing which becomes , to borrow from Hebrews 11:1, “the evidence of things not seen”.
Of course, this doesn’t mean speaking just anything into existence. True faith arises from embracing God’s will via His Word and then accepting it as His message to us. Much damage has been done with a ‘name and claim’ abuse of the Bible to acquire riches in a selfish lust-grab that often has little to do with finding and following the will of God. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The mouth gives way to what is believed in the heart (Romans 10:9,10; Matthew 12:34) and when we speak negatively or pessimistically, we are inadvertently prophesying a belief or a faith declaration that is circumstance-driven. When we declare reality with a ‘but’, namely with the ‘nevertheless’ optimism that, with God, things are subject to change, we see our fortunes turn. Habakkuk the prophet, observed devastation on his farm with the failure of his crops and the loss of his animals, but added, “Yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation’ (Habakkuk 3:18).
And that’s why I prefer to see problems, comments and actions of others in the best possible light. Not to allow myself to be drawn to speculate wildly on motives and attitudes that I could not know for sure. My confidence needs to be in a God who turns all things for good (Romans 8:28) despite how they might seem. Do we really believe in our hearts, as much as in our heads, that God is in control?!