Most of the time, fasting involves refraining from eating to a certain degree in order to spend time seeking God in greater measure.
Unfortunately, many times of fasting become hunger strikes, where people fast to convince God to do something. Our motives get misplaced, because the main goal of fasting is not to get God to do something, but to allow Him to do a deep work in our hearts and enhance our passion for intimate relationship with Him.
I have fasted many times and I found them to be extremely fruitful.
But I also found myself needing a reboot on my fasting traditions. So I tried doing a fast that was way harder than a 30- or 40-day food fast: I did a negativity fast.
Most would think in theory this would be easier than a food fast, but you'd be surprised.
Our culture today is incredibly saturated with negativity, discouragement and constant critical thinking. When you decide to remove negativity from your life completely for a time, you realize how much of it is actually in your life!
So I am finding myself doing more intentional negativity fasts. For those of you who want to be overcomers, you can't play around with negative thinking and speaking patterns, because they sabotage your progress.
Our thoughts and words have incredible power, so we have to leverage them for maximum breakthrough. I find that a clear negativity fast helps me to focus my attention in greater measure to the hope and direction God has for me in my life.
30-Day Negativity Fast
Most studies show that if applied correctly, any habit can be formed in 30 days. A negativity fast can develop more hopeful patterns and habits in your life, providing you commit to this daily process faithfully.
Many times, to see change we need to detoxify our thinking and speaking to become lined up with love, hope and faith.
In this fast, we are detoxing from all negative habits and relational patterns. We are not only abstaining from negativity, we are setting aside more time in our lives to feed on hope-filled perspectives that increase our ability to walk in love and powerful faith.
So if you want to join me, here are the guidelines for the negativity fast I am proposing.
30 Days of Abstaining From:
- Talking about situations and people with a negative viewpoint.
- Pessimistic expressions about people and circumstances.
- Critical talk about ourselves and others.
- Complaining of any kind.
- Negatively gossiping about others.
- Using sarcasm to hide our negative and bitter views.
30 Days of Intentionally Focusing On:
- Meditating on God's love and goodness.
- Meditating on and speaking out thanksgiving and praise.
- Declaring who God is and who God says that you are.
- Speaking life, love and hope to ourselves and others.
- Speaking solutions and calling forth answers to problems.
- Focusing on what God is doing and bringing it up in conversation.
To make this negativity fast effective, here are some practices to help make it a transformational experience.
1. Start and end every day with thanksgiving and personal declarations. Have a written list of things you need to say over yourself to establish who God says you are in your heart.
2. Abstain from watching, listening to or reading media that fosters negativity, including news, commentators, political forums, and social platforms that criticize anyone.
3. If you use social media, for these 30 days, use it to bless and encourage people every day. No criticizing or clicking "like" to critical or negatively biased posts.
4. During hard times, it's OK to cry and have tender emotional moments. But we will not add any negativity (hopelessness, discouraging talk, self-pity, victim attitude) with our words and actions during it.
5. Each time you are tempted to be critical of someone, immediately pray blessing for them. This will push the enemy back much more quickly.
6. Be intentional about not letting negative people dictate the atmosphere when they are with you. You may need to take some time from those who have had an overtly negative influence in your life.
7. Practice forgiving people more quickly. Pray blessing over those who get on your nerves.
8. Spend time laughing every day. Find comedy genres to watch and friends to interact with who will make you laugh from the belly.
9. Bless every place you go to (stores, homes, meetings, etc.) with hope.
10. Do not criticize others for being negative. That defeats the purpose of this fast. Not everyone may be where you are with this.
Steve Backlund is a professional at this subject. He has great resources on negativity fasts and overall transformation through how we think and speak:
Doing a negativity fast? Send me a quick email to let me know and I will cheer you on!
Mark DeJesus has been equipping people in a full time capacity since 1995, serving in various roles, including teaching people of all ages, communicating through music, authoring books, leading and mentoring. Mark's deepest love is his family: his wife Melissa, son Maximus and daughter Abigail. Mark is a teacher, author and mentor who uses many communication mediums, including the written word, a weekly radio podcast show and videos. His deepest call involves equipping people to live as overcomers. Through understanding inside out transformation, Mark's message involves getting to the root of issues that contribute to the breakdown of our relationships, our health and our day to day peace. He is passionately reaching his world with a transforming message of love, healing and freedom. Out of their own personal renewal, Mark and Melissa founded Turning Hearts Ministries, a ministry dedicated to inside out transformation. Mark also founded Transformed You, a communication platform for Mark's teachings, writing and broadcasts that are designed to encourage people in their journey of transformation. Mark and Melissa currently live in Connecticut.
For the original article, visit markdejesus.com.
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