~ Negative thinking generally engenders two types of responses: a passive response and an active response.
~ The passive response is characterized by a lack of action or inaction. I think that one classic illustration from the Bible has to to do with the Joshua, Caleb and the 10 other spies sent out to reconnoiter the Promised Land, Canaan. After their reconnaissance of Canaan, the response of the 10 spies is bleak and negative. I will post a snip of their response here:
“We can’t attack those people! They’re too strong for us!” 32 So they began to spread lies among the Israelites about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored is one that devours those who live there. All the people we saw there are very tall. 33 We saw Nephilim there. (The descendants of Anak are Nephilim.) We felt as small as grasshoppers, and that’s how we must have looked to them.” ~ Numbers 13
The ultimate judgment on these people is that they do not get to see the Promised Land.
~ The active response is characterized by wrong or misdirected (really sin-directed) action.
Here instead of wallowing in our negativism and sitting back and doing nothing, we instead try to do God a favor and get ahead of Him. Basically God has spoken and directed, however due to unbelief in what He has said and done, we take things into our own hands.
Perhaps the classic example here is Abraham, Sarah, Hagar and the birth of Ishmael. However I want to look at another example, that of King Jeroboam plunging Israel into idolatry. As the story goes Jeroboam has been given a huge chunk of the kingdom by God on account of the sins of King Solomon. When he is told by a prophet that he is to receive 10 tribes of the kingdom, he is also told that this is of God and that he will receive all kinds of blessings to go with it, provided he follows God. Yet what does he do later? Let us start with his negative thinking:
“Jeroboam rebuilt Shechem in the hills of Ephraim and lived there. Then he left that place and built Penuel. 26 He said to himself, ‘The kingdom will probably return to David’s dynasty now. 27 King Rehoboam of Judah, the former master of these people, will regain popularity if they go to sacrifice in the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem. Then they will kill me and return to King Rehoboam of Judah.'” ~ 1 Kings 12
Following this is his response which basically constitutes misdirected action:
“After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said, “You’ve been worshiping in Jerusalem long enough. Israel, here are your gods who brought you out of Egypt.” 29 He put one in Bethel and the other in Dan. 30 Worshiping them became Israel’s sin.” ~ 1 Kings 12
So there you have it. Negative thinking and the responses it engenders. One response resulting in sins of inaction and another response resulting in sins of mis-directed action.
Finally what is the appropriate response to all the things in life that come our way if negativism is the proper course? Exercising faith in God. Praying, meditating on his word, fellowshipping, getting counsel, and so on and then stepping out on faith.
“… For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” ~ Romans 14:23
Aside: Note also that these two forms of action that arise from negative thinking can also be classified as sins of omission and sins of commission.
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” ~ James 4:17
Additional Recc: Whatever Is Not from Faith Is Sin — Really? by John Piper