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Negative sentiment override happens when I begin to have a negative interpretation of behavior and communication from another person. It can be very subtle. I may be offended in some way (usually over time) and I now interpret things in a negative way. This is the opposite of the honeymoon phase of a relationship where we tend to interpret things in a positive way by default.

 

Couples who have negative sentiment override have an effect like wearing dark glasses. They may interpret even a complimentary statement as if it was intended to insult. We have an example of this in Matthew 25:24 called the parable of the talents. Jesus tells us about a master who gave different amounts of silver to three different servants.

“Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’”

Matthew 25:24-25 NLT

Think about how this man had the wrong kind of fear. He had negativity and resentment; this kind of fear has to be overcome.

“Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”

Matthew 25:28-29 NLT

A positive sentiment override is when we are thinking the best about the other person and negative sentiment is when we are thinking the worst.

 

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  1. The way we have to overcome the negative side is to first recognize it. We pray and ask God to show us or we take input from those around us we have asked to call us out.
  2. The second thing we have to do is to take a risk to move towards that person.
  3. Thirdly, maybe most importantly, we have to totally forgive and be at peace with that other person.

 

Daniel Mingook Kim H7sHkM9eilw Unsplash

 

Prayer: Lord, show us how to see when we’re in that negative sentiment. When we’re thinking the worst of someone in another relationship. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear, Lord, that we can turn this around in your power and your strength. Give us the ability to forgive and to think the best of others because your word says love hopes all things. Amen.

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