And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, "If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?"

—Numbers 14:2-3

Negative talk is contagious and often carries with it  disastrous consequences.

At God’s pleasure, twelve spies were sent in to spy out the Promised Land.  Their report was that it truly was a “land flowing with milk and honey, but alas, there were obstacles: giants no less!

The people’s fear and lack of faith in the Lord caused them to hear the part about the giants, and be oblivious to the part about how bountiful the land was.  As a result, they refused to go where God was guiding, they turned against Moses, and desired to return to slavery in Egypt.

What caused this?  The negative report from 10 of the 12 spies swayed upwards of 2.5 million people who grumbled against the Lord’s will, which cost that generation entrance into the Promised Land.

Negative talk has the same effect today.

How many people who had a wonderful experience at a restaurant take the time to leave a positive review on “Yelp”?  Compare that with the fact that when many people have even a slightly unpleasant experience, they can’t wait to rant on “Yelp.”

Why is it that some of us can’t wait to tell bad news, but seldom report good news?

It is unlikely that our negative words will create as much fallout as the report of the 10 spies, but they no doubt do more harm than we realize.  May God help us to delight in good news and resist joining other people’s parades of negativity.