The Deadly Virus of Negativity
In the Old Testament account of the wilderness experience of the children of Israel, we see a “budding” nation allow the sin of negativity to become a powerful, destructive stronghold in their midst. The Apostle Paul writes and warns us not to emulate the Israelites in the desert in 1 Corinthians 10:10: "do not murmur as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer." Negativity, murmuring, or grumbling is like a virus in that it starts small, spreads fast and strangles you from within. Puritan Thomas Brooks said concerning the destructive effects of murmuring or negativity: "Murmuring clouds a man's understanding, perverts his judgement, puts out the eye of reason, stupefies his conscience, sours the heart, disorders the will, and distempers the affections." Like a virus, negativity is a communicable disease. As such it is constantly dependent upon carriers that will help transport the disease throughout the Body of Christ.
In Numbers 14 we see how this virus spread its way in such an explosive manner throughout the assembly due to the negative, murmuring, evil report brought back to the congregation by the ten unbelieving spies sent to scout out the Promised Land: Numbers 14:2, "And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!" Num 14:36, "And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land..."