Every one should strive to think positively. It is so easy to fall into a trap of negative thinking and the effect that type of thinking can have on your spirit is catastrophic. I never really understood why positive thinking was so important, until I encountered a trend of negativity that was directed specifically at women who shared my skin color.
As an African-American woman, it’s very easy when I hear all the negativity about Black women to fall into a negative mindset. Although all people struggle with negative imagery, negative thoughts and self esteem issues, it’s no secret that if you turn on the TV or go on youtube, you will hear an abundance of negative stereotypes about African-American women. When I turn on the TV and see the Black woman being the butt of every joke and I see the angry sapphire Black woman throwing a Pepsi can at someone or when I go onto a blog and I see someone writing mean posts about how unattractive Black women are or how unwanted and unloved Black women are…it can get to you. I remember going onto youtube and hearing video after video of nothing but negative stereotypes about Black women. It felt like the whole world was just against Black women. Racism, beauty standards and history have put Black women in a peculiar situation. Being female in a male-dominate world and being Black in a white supremacist world puts Black women in a marginalized position.
I could talk about how racism and white supremacy are not Biblical and how God did not design us as “separate races,” based on skin color or ethnicity, but that’s another topic. I am going to focus on positive thinking.
After hearing all the negative stereotypes and assumptions about Black women, it’s easy to fall into a negative mindset, which can lead to anger and bitterness. But, the Bible says positive thinking is better than negative thinking, even when you’re in a negative situation.
Proverbs 17:22 says,
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up like bones.
I can attest to the fact that negative thinking is very destructive to your overall well-being and it most certainly does destroy your spirit. Even though I (as a Black woman) felt and feel wronged when people stereotype and judge me based off of my skin color and gender, it is not beneficial to anyone to live in a negative mindset. You know why? When I become so negative, it sucks the life out of me. It robs me of the joy and blessings of life and I become bitter and angry. God doesn’t want us to have to deal with that, he wants us to be thankful and think positive.
Some things that I do to counter the negative thinking is to remind myself that even if other people judge me as a Black woman and make mean blog posts or videos stereotyping all Black women, they don’t know me, but God does. God knows my heart, he knows my mind, he knows my spirit and he can see who I truly am. People may want to put you into a box (and this applies to people of all races and backgrounds) but just remember that God sees you for who you are. Even if people make you feel unloved and unwanted, you are very much loved by God. In fact God loved YOU so much that he gave his own life so that you would have eternal life. He sent his only begotten son to suffer, die on the cross and rise from the dead because he loves YOU. No one can tell you that you don’t deserve to be loved or that you’re unwanted when the creator of the universe loved YOU so much that he gave his life for you.
The Power of Positive Perceptions of Beauty:
When people make articles about how Black women are objectively the least attractive race or when you see the media and society only praise certain types of beauty, but degrade other types of beauty, just remember what true beauty is. The whole theme of this blog was to understand what true beauty is and true beauty is spiritual. It comes from being obedient and loving to God and loving to others. That is the type of beauty that lasts forever. If you focus on the negative and allow that to consume your spirit, then you will become ugly.
To understand what beauty is, let’s look at the story of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon.
Queen of Sheba was an Ethiopian Queen who traveled from Ethiopia to see King Solomon and to learn about the word of God .
She traveled to Jerusalem with a large group of servants and camels carrying spices, jeweles and much gold. When she came to Solomon, she talked with him about all she had in mind…the queen Sheba learned that Solomon was very wise. She saw the palace he had built, the food on his table, his many officers, the palace servants, and their good clothes…Praise the LORD your God, who was pleased to make you King of Israel. The king has constant love for Israel, so he made you king to keep justice and to rule fairly.” (1 Kings 10: 1-10) What made Queen of Sheba beautiful was her spirit. She traveled for many many months to learn about the word of God from King Solomon. This type of devotion to the Lord is what beauty is about.
So, when the world gets you down just remember that you are very much loved by God, so much so that he died for you and that beauty that lives forever, the real beauty is inside of you. Try not to listen to the negative stereotypes, the hurtful words or biased misrepresentation, instead listen to God and know that you are beautifully and perfectly made in HIS image.
So pray on the scripture below and ask God to help you to think positive and to not be overcome by the negativity of this world.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8