Emerging from negative expectations

Originally published on sentinel.christianscience.com and in The Christian Science Monitor’s Christian Science Perspective column, June 17, 2019.

Cynicism and despondency can seem the order of the day, especially when things aren’t going the way we’d like. A string of disappointments may lead us to wonder what disaster awaits just around the corner. On the other hand, even if things are going well, we may be convinced a big letdown is inevitable. Either way, we’re harboring a negative expectation, a sense that good in our lives is undependable, unsustainable, or unattainable.

Years ago I had the need to challenge that. I worked at a large bank selling financial securities. Although I labored diligently, my performance was very poor, and the rest of the group was not faring much better. Morale sank very low, and it was easy to come in day after day with a poor attitude.

I knew I needed to break out of this downward mental spiral, and I’d seen before that a spiritual perspective could help. Acknowledging God as the provider of all good is a sound foundation upon which to build and has proved to me to be a much different and more powerful approach than mere optimism. So that’s where I began, with an assurance from the Bible that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). 

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