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Do you also know people who can be called oxygen thieves? When you are in their company it feels as if you are breathing carbon dioxide all the time. I am referring to the worry brigade who complain all the time. If you tell them things are going well, they tell you about the increasing crime in the country. If you refer to a wonder that has occurred, they go on about the lifelessness of the church.

Too many people live in a world of darkness. That goes for church people as well. Some believers give in to feelings of despondency and hopelessness. They end up being victims of a lack of faith. You can be sure that those whose thoughts and words are always negative cannot not live a life free of care. Faith and worry do not go together. Worry is a robber of faith. The Lord Jesus assures us of that in Matthew 13 when He tells the parable of the seeds that fall in different places.

Psalm 37 gives a few practical guidelines on what to do to stay out of reach of the clutches of the oxygen thief brigade:

Do not waste your time by speaking about evil people (verse 1). Leave them to the Lord. He has their names and addresses and will settle with them in his own time.
Trust in the Lord instead (verse 3). Choose to focus your attention exclusively on God. Avert your eyes from everything negative and look to God. Choose to cling to Him every day.
Do good deeds for others (verse 3). Become involved. Do not live inside yourself. You are called to have an impact in the world. It is not too late. Become a living inspiration to others. Make sure that one or two people who are truly in need have your name on their lips. Reach out. Be the hands and feet of the Lord to those in need.
Rejoice each moment in knowing the Lord. He will see to it that you get what you need (verse 4). Choose joy, the Lord's kind. Be truly glad that the Lord knows and loves you. You matter in the right Place. You are not simply a number here on earth. Royal blood flows in your veins, the blood of Christ.
Place your life in the hands of the Lord each day. Believe in Him; He will keep you on the right course. The Lord will show others that you live your life according to his will (verses 5-6). Your faith should change your life, if not you are wasting your time on a grand scale. Report for active duty each day. Trust God implicitly to keep your life on the right track. Trust Him to make you a blessing to others.

Escape from a life of darkness today and become a living inspiration. That is God's will for you.


Lord, protect me from being negative.

Keep me from polluting others with despondent words.

Lead me on your roads of righteousness.

Determine the course of my whole life.

Let my faith make a real difference in the life of at least one other person.

I pray this in the good Name of Christ.


Stephan Joubert