church loughborough

by Ps Roy Todd

The racist murder of George Floyd last week was shockingly evil. Sadly though, this is just one of a long litany of such horrific acts over the years. There shouldn’t even be the slightest hint of hesitation in calling it out, especially among church leaders. Silence is not an option.

Yet when a white church leader condemns such an atrocity on social media, there is the danger of thinking that an expression of outrage alone is sufficient. It is not. In the UK, white middle class Christianity can be very good at expressing verbal solidarity from a distance toward those it perceives to be oppressed. But while such expressions are well intended, the challenge is that they can be mere tokenism, even patronising to our black brothers and sisters – and quickly forgotten as life cruelly moves on.

The time has come for real change, not mere words. If white church leaders are serious about doing something meaningful and demonstrating a better way, then there needs to be a total willingness to move out of the comfort zone. It’s time for leaders to get on with the quiet work of raising up a generation which reflects the brilliance and diversity of modern Britain. This means far more than including a few photographs of people of colour on a church website. Instead, some serious questions need to be addressed. For example, why are so many church leadership teams 100% white? Why? Do people of colour even feel welcomed, valued and included in church? How many church leaders are actively spending time with and investing in the potential of people from a range of cultural backgrounds who are part of the congregation, not just those who are white?

All the finest words in the world pale in comparison to the gritty work of championing a generation who will make a difference. It takes time. It involves listening to the experiences of others. It means understanding that not everyone is like you. It means recognising the gift of God in people’s lives, taking risks, creating opportunity, cheering others on and equipping people with confidence to change their world. This is the kind of leadership that affects REAL change. White middle class Christianity needs a cultural revolution, and this starts with leaders.

Just before the lockdown, I spent an evening with a group of young men from a range of cultural backgrounds. I asked them to share some of their experiences in life. The stories they told were a revelation – at times deeply disturbing. Yet the dignity and grace with which these young men carry themselves shines through in their demeanour. Each of them is gifted by God, and all of them has a part to play in the life of the church I lead. Just spending time and listening was like a tonic to my soul, far more than any encouragement I offered them. They make me a better person. I am amazed at this rising generation. If you’d spent some time with them too, you’d realise they are a major reason to have hope for the future. 

After the events of last week, I’m committing myself to working even harder to champion this generation and see the UK Church reflect what God is doing today in modern Britain. This means being totally intentional about encouraging the God given giftedness in people of colour. It would be a travesty not to.

White middle class Christianity needs to do more than just call out the evil of racism. This alone is not enough. The Church needs to BE at the forefront of embracing cultural diversity in our nation. Afterall, this is what happens in God’s kingdom! But for this to happen, some serious and genuine soul searching needs to happen, and the comfort zone of white middle class Christianity needs to be left behind.

Below is a recent Sunday talk I gave to the Junction Church.



by Roy Todd

There’s a famous story which Jesus told about the prodigal son. But did you know there were actually two prodigal sons? The more well known was the younger brother who strayed from the Father’s house. But there was also the older son who stayed in the Father’s house. Yet he had some profound issues in his life too.

When the younger son humbly returned after his reckless escapades, the Father wanted to throw a party to celebrate the occasion. But the older son strongly objected. After all, what was there to celebrate since his younger sibling had forfeited the responsibilities of sonship in favour of a nomadic existence? On the surface, the elder son’s protestation seems reasonable. But lurking behind the ‘concern’ was a sinister old enemy called… jealousy. 

Thing is, when jealousy manifests itself, it’s a sign of a prodigal heart. The older son didn’t care that his younger brother had come home. On the contrary, he sneered at the attention being directed towards his rebellious sibling who had since humbled himself and asked forgiveness from the Father. But none of this mattered to big brother. See, the older son’s lack of grace and absence of compassion is what cold religion is like. It is only interested is in being proven right, not loving people.

The older son was not simply just as much a prodigal as his younger brother. No, he was far more extreme. Sure, the younger boy had been thoughtless and irresponsible in the way he had lived. But at least he ‘came to his senses’ and repented. Not so with the older son. By staying in the Father’s house, he had developed an entitlement mentality – cold, clinical, careless. He was subsequently offended at the grace offered by his father to a little brother who was as good as dead to him. The jealousy was real.

This story serves as a warning. When you find yourself justifying feelings of jealousy and refusing to celebrate the grace of God in others, this is a dangerous place to be. There is no justification whatsoever for us to live like that. We are all at the mercy and grace of a Father in heaven who knows the worst about each of us – yet chooses to forgive us when we come to him. A prodigal heart wanders from the wonder of grace, even when it appears to be near to God.

Jealousy is graceless, thankless and spiteful. It prides itself on being closer to God than others – and detests anyone who might get closer. But grace is not fair – God gives more to those who need it more.

The lesson Jesus wants us to learn from the older prodigal is….deal with jealousy in your heart. Ditch any notion of entitlement and live thankfully every day for God’s grace. This is the vaccine that will protect you against the toxicity of jealousy. It will free you to celebrate and appreciate the grace of God in others. This is a better, more liberating, more fulfilling way to live.

by Roy Todd

A pastor friend of mine recently succumbed to Covid-19. As a statistic, he’s just one of thousands to have fallen victim to the terrible malaise. But as a human being, his story is far more poignant than that. This man had invested the best years of his life serving God and His people. Like any pastor, he’d dealt with the joys of pastoral ministry as well as the challenges. The latter included times when he’d been on the receiving end of behaviour which was less than honourable. But with good grace and a dash of humour, he kept serving and believing to see the church grow. Sometimes though, the pain inflicted by graceless conduct nearly broke him. His wounds were real. Yet, he never allowed bitterness to contaminate his ministry.

Just two weeks prior to his passing, he’d been working hard behind the scenes to ensure his church was ready for the move online. Like many of us, he had to make numerous video announcements on social media informing his church community of how things would look for the foreseeable future. As usual, he served his heart out and arranged for care & support for the people in his church. But within a fortnight, he was felled by the very virus he sought to protect his church against. The ventilator wasn’t enough to save him.

Today, a church is mourning the loss of their shepherd. There can only be a tiny funeral service because of the lockdown. His family didn’t even get to say a proper goodbye. So sad.

No doubt the tributes will keep pouring in, and rightly so. But it got me thinking….why do we wait until it’s too late before saying what is good? Why not express appreciation now? Why not just believe the best instead of going along with the gripes and whims of the habitually disgruntled? See, when pride & ego are taken out of the equation, it’s amazing how culture shifts from dishonour to honour. If you choose to bathe your words and actions in honour, you will never regret it….ever….both in time and eternity.

The passing of my friend hit home last week…hard. This virus is real. But there’s a malady which is just as potent. It’s called pride. It’s a wrecker of relationships. It’s a destroyer of trust. It’s a divider of people. The enemy thrives on it. But it’s about time we called it out, before it’s too late. Meanwhile, the Bible challenges us to live with the high values of Christ’s Kingdom permeating every aspect of our lives. Romans 12:10 says “Honour one another above yourselves”. Nothing less will do. Humility is the vaccine which disempowers the toxic scourge of self-centredness.

Question is, when all this is over, what will ‘normal’ look like? Will there merely be a return to the old ways? Or will a new normal emerge – where gossip and toxicity are replaced by honour and appreciation? 

Me? I’m praying for a new normal to emerge. Gosh, we need it.

Meanwhile, for my friend & colleague, I honour his life. One ‘well done’ from the King makes everything worthwhile. Salute.

by Roy Todd

Do you like a story? Ok…well I’ve got one. Put the kettle on and pull up a chair!

Before the lockdown and social distancing laws came into force, the Junction Church’s brilliant exec team read the road ahead long ago. We had a good idea we would need to move everything completely online at some point – not because of some profound prophecy, but because we kept an eye on the news. So, we decided to prepare well in advance and pre-record lots of services, so that in the event of a lockdown, we could use these as our online material. This even included Easter services!

A local church in Loughborough kindly invited us to use their building (we don’t currently own our own permanent facility). Over a couple of mid-week days, a small team of people from our church community (including a number of frontline healthcare professionals) set-up our equipment and had loads of fun recording back to back services – with 10 minute breaks in between. It was tiring…but brilliant. Those services reflect the heart and culture of our church – positive, fresh and encouraging.

Then eventually, a total lockdown was announced by the government. This meant church gatherings were not permitted. Lots of churches were thrown into crisis because they’d never contemplated the idea of online church. But at the Junction Church, we felt prepared, if a bit anxious about it all. We totally understood the reasons for the lockdown and support the governments actions in tackling the virus. Moments like this are what leaders are made for, right? Well, that’s what all those leadership books & conferences tell us.

Anyway, then came the beginning of those ‘churchless’ Sundays. Like many pastors, I sat in dread as I hid behind my morning mug of tea, wondering if anyone would watch. But to my delight, the viewing numbers rose to thousands!! Suddenly, we were a mega-church!!! Ok…not quite. But I actually LOVE online church. It’s not as good as physically gathering but, it’s the next best thing. Because we’d read the road ahead, we were able to offer some decent quality services online. The work had already been done.

For me though, some of the most enlightening revelations in this strange season have occurred when I’ve been scrolling through comments during the services. Oh my word!!! Of course, our church family cheer us on from start to finish (as they always do – they’re brilliant)! Even people who are not Christians have written warmly and positively about their online church experience – some even coming to faith! How good is that?!!! But…some of the “Christian” response has been fascinating to observe. Some of those comments have been laden with suspicion and lacking any kind of warmth – with a tangible sense of ‘name & shame’. When aggressive comments like ‘why are you having a LIVE service?’ are written without even a hint of grace or the slightest smidgeon of the benefit of the doubt, it says much about how people can so quickly jump to cheap conclusions without knowing the real story. 

In response to the less savoury comments, we always graciously point out that there are clear signs on our Online Church service video’s saying “RECORDED PRE-LOCKDOWN”. But…this does not seem to satisfy some. It’s as if some of God’s children want to assume the worst of God’s other children, believing that a church would flagrantly disregard the law, gather people in a secret location each Sunday and then proceed to have a full on Sunday service which is aired live to thousands of people. Preposterous, hey? But when the pressure is on, a lot gets revealed.

Some of the emails have been interesting too. The unchurched have written kindly & generously, saying how much they’ve enjoyed the services. But some of the ‘Christian’ response has been accusatory and judgmental, written like a verdict being pronounced and guilt being delivered. You can almost see the triumphant smirk and the loud ‘GOTCHA!!!’ bellowing out as yet another pastor has been brought down to size by a morally superior Christian. But for what? When time passes, level heads will look back and shrivel with embarrassment at what they were willing to believe. 

So…at the risk of disappointing the disappointed…I can confirm that our services are NOT live. We would never disobey the law. They were pre-recorded before the lockdown – just like the sign says. We do livestream the services because the recordings run smoother this way. Meanwhile, while Online Church is happening on Sunday, you’ll find me in my living room, drinking yet another cup of tea, commenting on the preacher’s dodgy hair-do and personally answering some aggressive lines of questioning from irate Christians such as ‘WHY IS THIS LIVE?????’ (the fact I’m responding while I’m preaching should be a giveaway).

I know these are strange times. We, like every church, are seeking to lovingly pastor people through this desperately challenging season. Behind the scenes, our church has been supporting families, sending out food packages, creating support systems and lots more. Our church family have been truly amazing in all this. What has saddened my heart is the doubt & presumptions of some Christians who have been only too willing to pronounce a ‘guilty’ verdict without being sure of the facts. Oh for a day when God’s people would choose to believe the best of each other and not the worst. The real reason so many churches are in a state of decline is because the default culture is fearful & suspicious – the very opposite of God’s culture. Thing is, nothing will ever grow in a culture of suspicion….apart from fear.

Our world is in turmoil. It doesn’t need more suspicion & distrust. God’s people ought to be leading the way and cheering each other on….believing the best, speaking the best, bringing hope, and demonstrating faith. That’s what’s needed more than ever before. God help us rise to the challenge. The world is watching.


by Roy Todd

History teaches us that we shouldn’t be surprised by events like the current coronavirus pandemic. It’s certainly not the first time something like this has happened. For example, there was a world-wide pandemic in the middle ages known as the ‘bubonic plague’ – and this was even more potent than the coronavirus which we are facing today. Then in the early 1900’s, there was the so-called ‘Spanish Flu’, an unusually deadly influenza which swept the world.

Yet, what makes Covid-19 so shocking is that few of us could possibly have imagined anything like this happening in the 21st century. Our whole way of life is being profoundly challenged. A simple trip to the grocery store is now an anxious search to see if shelves are stocked with the most basic items for everyday living. Who ever would have thought this could happen to us? Not even a hint of warning. One day, things are ‘normal’. The next, there’s a new normal. Just insane.

And that’s the point. Things were never as solid as we believed. We’d placed our faith in a way of life which we assumed was as certain as the sun. It never was. If the global pandemic has taught us anything…it must surely be that the foundations on which we build our lives REALLY matter. Suddenly, all the stuff about ‘faith in Jesus’ makes sense. HE is the only rock who is solidly reliable. Why did we ever allow ourselves to become so complacent and trust flawed human systems instead? How could we have missed the mark so widely? Why would we ever have permitted ourselves to simply put our faith in a way of life that was always precarious anyway?

In this crisis, there are many things which don’t make sense. How long will it last? What will the future look like beyond the ‘crisis’? What will change? What will be the economic price of all this? The lists of questions go on.

I don’t have answers to any of those questions. The only thing that makes sense to me in this crazy season is the message of the cross. Jesus gave HIS life so we could experience HIS life. John 3:16 stands as a pillar of truth in a crumbling world.

My encouragement to you….no…my plead with you is to put your faith in Jesus Christ. He is the light who will show you the way forward. He is the truth who can be completely relied upon. He is the way…the ONLY way to eternal life.

Lean in to his grace. Call out to him. Believe his word. Jesus Christ – God’s Son – who died on a cross and rose from the dead. He did it all for you. That’s real love. He’s totally worth following.

by Roy Todd

About 18 months ago, I found myself feeling extra-ordinarily anxious. This wasn’t just the normal kind of anxiety that you might experience when you’re nervous about something. No, this was different. I’d never felt anything like this before in my life. Normal tasks caused me to be uptight. Little things became significant concerns. I was on edge. The curious thing was that if you’d seen me, you would never have known my struggle. I didn’t look the nervous type. But inside, this thing was a big deal.

One day, I went to see a doctor about it. This is not the kind of trip I’d normally take…call it ‘male pride’ if you will. But I was pretty desperate. Within five minutes, the young medic was able to identify what was going on. I’ll never forget the letters he uttered “P.T.S.D.” – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

See, earlier that summer, my wife became seriously ill after giving birth to our daughter. The two week hospital drama was an almost surreal experience. Every day during those 12 long nights, I was in ‘fight’ mode – I mean that in the best sense of the word. I was fighting in prayer. I was fighting the good fight of faith. I was fighting to support my wife. I was fighting to speak positively in the midst of the negative medical reports. Then after two weeks of ‘touch and go’, one day, the senior consultant expressed amazement at Lydia’s progress – and announced that she was free to go home. A week later, we moved into a new home (long story) with a three week old baby. All seemed well. 

In the subsequent weeks, I threw myself into fatherhood duties and serving my church. Life was great. So much to do and to accomplish. But I hadn’t really taken the time to process the enormity of what had just happened during the summer. How could I? Life was moving at 1000 miles per hour. While my mind was more than delighted to move on, it was as if my body wasn’t so willing. There’s a really helpful book on the psychology of trauma called ‘The Body Remembers’ by Babette Rothschild – worth a read. But how are you meant to rest when you’re a new dad and you’re pastoring a growing church plus you’ve got a billion other responsibilities? The point is…these questions are an irrelevance as far as the body is concerned. If I didn’t take some time to stop, then the body would stop for me. It needed to recover from the ‘fight’. Thankfully, I was able to identify my issue just in time. I dread to think what might have occurred if I’d just ploughed on. 

Over the next weeks and months, I found myself gradually getting better. Sometimes, the old anxieties returned with a vengeance and it felt like I was back to square one. But little by little and day by day, I got better. Even still, there are moments of inexplicable anxiety that I have to deal with. But I’m learning to lean into God like never before when these moments occur.

I’m no medical expert. However, the one thing I’ve found most helpful during this season has been perhaps the most underrated miracle cure in the world….R E S T. During those times of anxiety, I’ve learned to create time to rest – even moving my diary around so it can happen. It’s only when I’m well rested that I can manage the tension of worry and find perspective. I would go as far as to say that rest is a spiritual thing. Jesus himself invited us to rest when he said ‘Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you REST’ (Matthew 11:28).

Rest is an act of faith. It is not complacent – but is a statement of trust in God’s grace. Ultimately, this is the resting place of those who follow Christ.

If you find yourself struggling with worry, I want you to know that you’re not alone. Anxiety is no respecter of persons. No-matter how ‘strong’ you think you are, no-body is THAT strong. It’s in those times of struggle that we need to learn to lean in and make our resting place in God. He is our shelter.  He is our fortress. His name is our strong tower. The Bible tells us that ‘The righteous run into it and they are safe’ (Prov 18:10). This has certainly been my experience. May it be yours too.

by Roy Todd

Ever picked up weird vibes from being around somebody? I guess we’ve all encountered them at times. When I experience them, I always try to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. The first thing I tend to do is try to check my own heart to see if I’m the one who has caused the sense of weirdness. For example, have I said something inappropriate? Is my demeanour awkward? Is my body language defensive? Have I hit a raw nerve in something I’ve asked about? Is it the way I’m looking, sounding, smiling? Maybe the the other person is going through something in their life which I have no idea about? The questions could go on and on. BUT the danger of this kind of internal questioning is that it can quickly change from healthy self-awareness to unhealthy paranoia. Sure, no doubt there are times when I can be the cause of weird vibes – but not always.

One of the weirdest vibes you’ll ever encounter is when you’re talking to someone who is beside you – but they’re not really ‘present’ with you. In other words, they are distracted as they constantly glance around to see who else might pass by. They’re poised to make a quick exit in order to take advantage of a better opportunity. That’s just how some people live their lives. But for me, this is weird. As soon as I pick up on this kind of vibe, I tend to disengage from the ‘conversation’ because I’m not willing to be treated as second class. I try to give anyone I talk to my full attention no-matter who they are – and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect anything less in return.

Anyway, there’s not much you can do about other people. But you can do something about YOU. Here are eight ways you can try to protect yourself from giving off weird vibes:

1) BE FRIENDLY – It’s not rocket science. Just be friendly and approachable. This really helps.

2) SPEAK POSITIVELY – Set the tone. If you’re ‘weird’ for not gossiping and backbiting, that’s not such a bad thing. Just keep it all positive.

3) AVOID INTENSITY – The shallow end of the conversation pool is underrated. It’s always better to make your way to the deep end from there. Do shallow really well. This is about connecting on the same level. Take your time before making ‘best friends’. Far better that way.

4) BE SELF AWARE – Make sure you’re not the cause of weird vibes. See the questions I asked myself above.

5) RESPECT BOUNDARIES – Learn to read people quickly. Overstepping their personal boundaries of space and tactilty is the surest way to provoke antagonism. So be sure to read and respect this.

6) ASK QUESTIONS – You can tell far more about someone by the questions they ask than the statements they make. So ask great questions.

7) LISTEN WELL – After you ask a question, LISTEN to the answer!!!! It might not be the answer you want. But that’s not the point. It’s all about listening well to others. The lack of this is a definite cause of weird vibes!

8) TAKE INTEREST – Remembering details that people mention to you is HOW you build real and genuine connection into their hearts. This means taking genuine interest in those you do life with. 



We wanted to let you know about some additions we’re making on team.

2020 really feels like a ‘coming of age’ year in the life of our church. We’re more solid than we’ve ever been. There have been a whole bunch of marriages recently and loads of babies born too!! Meanwhile, lots of families have decided to make the Junction Church their spiritual home – and our kids ministry has grown very significantly! There’s a very real sense of vitality and vibrancy in our community. The vibe is pretty amazing and the culture is strong.

Leading the Junction Church today is very different to how we led when we first pioneered it in 2012. Back then, there were less than 100 people. Today, there are hundreds of people meeting across three campuses (Loughborough, Leicester & Nottingham). 

Early on in the pioneering journey, Lydia & I set ourselves the goal of raising up a new generation of leaders who could play their part and serve God’s house. So we poured our entire lives into anyone and everyone who was up for the challenge. The calibre of leaders who are emerging in our church today is truly astonishing. Watch this space!!!

However, back in those early days of pioneering, two young guys leaned in and became part of our journey. Their names…Frazer Botham & Jonah Dykes. It was obvious to us that these guys were leadership material. But we never said a word about this to them. Experience has taught us never to try and do God’s job for him. We simply journeyed with them….slowly, carefully and quietly. Over many years now, Frazer & Jonah have demonstrated outstanding qualities. We’ve invested in them – teaching them, helping them, encouraging them & stretching them (the latter is metaphorically speaking!!!). It has been an absolute joy to observe their teachability and willingness to lean in. Actually, it was far more than mere willingness. They RAN….with conviction and purpose. Their faithfulness has been proven, beyond question.

Recently, during the 21 days of prayer and fasting, Lydia & I both felt it was time to give some official recognition to Frazer & Jonah. So on Sunday 8th March, we will be publicly praying for them and recognising them as pastors in our church community. Frazer Botham will carry responsibility in Loughborough. Meanwhile, Jonah Dykes will carry responsibility in Leicester. Lydia & I will continue to bring overall leadership to the church – casting vision, setting culture, caring for people and raising a generation. The addition of Frazer & Jonah will only serve to strengthen our church and help keep us focused on the main thing.

In 1 Timothy 3: 1-7, Paul outlines the qualifications for ‘overseers’ in Gods house. Among the character traits mentioned are things like: respected, faithful, patient, hospitable, able to teach, non-materialistic, caring, carrying a strong track record of being planted & committed to God’s house & humble. We commend both Frazer Botham and Jonah Dykes to you. They exude all these characteristics….and more.

This year, both Frazer & Jonah will begin a three year journey towards ministerial ordination. This will be with the Assemblies of God, one of the largest & most respected classical Pentecostal movements in the UK and around the world. This movement has a rich heritage of faith and carries a strong emphasis on the contemporary work of the Holy Spirit today. Lydia & I both hold ministerial credentials with AoG and we also serve as regional leaders for the central east area of England. So we look forward to seeing Frazer & Jonah flourish.

Please make a point of joining us on Sunday 8th March as we officially recognise these guys as pastors in the life of our church. Keep praying for them and their families. Pray especially for a breakthrough in Frazer Botham’s health. We are totally committed to seeing him healed and whole.

These are great days. We are excited about what God has in store for us. We’re totally up for everything!!

Roy & Lydia Todd

online bullying

by Roy Todd

Caroline Flack was a talented TV presenter who had everything to live for. Yet, the online bullying she endured became all too much for her. Just tragic.

But when the headlines fade and life cruelly goes on, what happens next? Will there be soul searching? Will those who carp and snipe think twice about the affect their words have on others? Will the media back off the salacious stories which earn mega-bucks but ruin people’s lives? Naturally, this is unlikely. Shifting bad culture is like trying to turn the ocean tide.

Over the years, I’ve observed the sheer nastiness that can lurk in online culture. In a very small way, I’ve been on the receiving end of a jibe or two myself. It was inconsequential. But still, it was horrible. After one particularly nasty online comment directed at me, I remember having a pretty restless night. I wondered, ‘Do people really think that about me?’ Sure, deep in my heart, I knew it was a rogue remark that ultimately meant nothing. But finding perspective in that moment was very challenging. What I experienced was nothing compared to what others go through. 

If you’re ever tempted to post a judgmental comment online, think twice. It will do nobody any good. But the affect on others can be catastrophic. 

Sure, the cultural tide might be flowing strongly in a terrible direction. But it MUST be challenged nevertheless. There needs to be a fresh alternative. When something’s good, big it up. When you’re thankful, say it. When you appreciate those people who love and care, express your gratefulness. And do it with uncomplicated purity….not accompanied by any hint of sniping and carping. Life is too short for that stuff.

And what about church? Sure, it has it’s challenges. But ultimately, church is a community of people who are all on a journey of faith. If any culture should model positivity and good vibes, surly it ought to be here, right? Well then….let’s start here. Maybe by God’s help, we can start to turn the ocean tide?


by Roy Todd

Let’s suppose that life for you is pretty decent 90% of the time. How do you measure this? Well, let’s say you have reasonable health, a good community around you, potential, prospects, opportunity, a roof over your head and food on your table…plus a whole lot more besides. Sure, there are some challenges too…and no-one is exempt from these. Yet, if it’s true that life is fine 90% of the time, then it begs the question – why do so many people carry negative vibes 90% of the time? It doesn’t make sense. I might even go further and say…it lacks integrity!!! See, being negative is often mistaken for ‘just being honest’. But it’s not the same. The two are very different.

Negativity is manifested through things like…cynicism, suspicion, gossip, complaining, nastiness, insecurity, backbiting, poor behaviour, mean spiritedness, a sense of entitlement, complaint & criticism, joylessness and a refusal to celebrate what’s good in others. Negativity feels better about itself when it is putting others down.

Proverbs 11:27 sheds some light. It says ‘If you search for good, you WILL find favour; but if you search for evil, it WILL find you’. In other words, you WILL get what you’re looking for. So…what are you looking for?

It’s all too easy to get caught up in negative culture. How many offices are filled with gossip? How many work places are steeped in a culture of complaint? How many times have you seen snide comments on social media that are unfair and unjust? Yet so often, we just go along with it because we assume these negative vibes are normal. But for a person of faith, this is NOT normal. Faith can never thrive in an atmosphere that is negative…ever. Nothing will ever get accomplished in a negative culture either.

Truth is, God has called us to be different. This means he wants us to challenge the ‘norm’ by showing HIS norm.

If I could get alongside you and encourage you in this season of your life, then I would strongly advise you….BE POSITIVE. It doesn’t mean you won’t have challenges and tough times. Of course you will – and faith never denies these when they occur. But being positive means keeping perspective – and checking your attitude in the midst of challenging times. See, you can’t always control your circumstances. But you CAN control your words….always.

Words are powerful because they set the atmosphere over your life. Proverbs 18:21 puts it this way: “The tongue has the power of life and death”. This means you have the power to speak life and hope – or doom and dispair. It is completely your choice. The challenge for many is habitual negativity that is stuck in a rut and which needs to be seriously challenged and adjusted. My encouragement to you is…ask God to help you. As a natural melancholic, I know I need God’s help.

Be positive. Be an encourager. Speak well of others. Don’t just blurt out the first negative thought that comes into your mind. The bible encourages us to ‘take every thought into captivity and make it obedient to Christ’. It will radically change the vibe in you and around you…and that’s exactly what our world is going to need more than ever before.