Double Negative

Aug 26, 2023

“This sentence doesn’t make no sense.”

A double negative is a sentence or clause using two negative words. The rules say that double negatives are not grammatically correct and should be avoided … when using standard English. In some languages, however, like Spanish, double or triple negatives are allowed and seen as emphasizing (rather than contradicting) each other. But, in (standard) English they’re a big no-no because they’re confusing; double negatives cancel each other out and make a positive. So, using a double negative ends up conveying the exact opposite of what you mean. When you say, “I can’t do nothing right!” you are actually saying, “I always do everything correctly!”

Your life is a book. It is one continuous story, from the “once upon a time” beginning, through multiple chapters, conflicts and resolutions—as you become the person that YOU are to be, before reaching “The End.”

However, at any given moment of time—even at THIS moment—your story could be summarized into ONE sentence: the subject, predicate, and object of your whole life up to this point.

What would YOUR one “life sentence” say—TODAY?

Some people might be painfully aware that they have “incorrect” elements in their life sentence, because they have so many negatives in their life. They think “The Rules” say that the multiple negatives cancel out the positive power of God. “What’s the use?” They may think that if they act bad enough—if they act hopeless enough—that others will see them for the hopeless creature that they are and cancel them out altogether. That everyone will give up on them like they’ve given up on themselves. But, God makes up His own rules, and He cancels out no one. He will always do what He’s promised to do:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NKJV)

Every time.

Joy Haney, in her devotional “Diamonds for Dusty Roads”, cites a speaker who began his talk by offering a crisp, new $20 to anyone in the audience who wanted it. Hands shot up. “But first, let me do this …” and he proceeded to crumple the bill, throw it on the ground, and wipe his dirty shoe on it. “Anyone still want it?” MORE hands shot up.

The point is: Our double, triple, or multitudinous negatives don’t change our value to God. They are nothing to him—no matter how many we stack up, compound, or string along on each other. If we confess and repent, He will forgive.

On the other hand, we cannot cancel out our own negatives, no matter what we do. Repentance is the ONLY way. One drop of Jesus’ Blood applied to our lives cancels out any number of “incorrect” negatives.

When we stand before God, face to face, our life story will then be summarized into one final concluding sentence: either “I am a sinner” or “I am a sinner SAVED by GRACE.”

Prayer: Dear LORD, You are the author and the finisher of my life story. Life will always have its highs and lows, but how I choose to respond will determine the outcome. I choose to submit and release to You every negative impulse, temptation, and emotion. I choose to have a continually repentant heart, and I ask that you fill it with Your Spirit and Your Light – so that there is no room for darkness or evil thoughts. I want the final sentence of my life to merit YOUR response, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

(Part 1 of 3)