Positive Thinking


From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.
-Philippians 4:8

What do you focus your thoughts on?  What we think determines what we say and write, how we act and what we believe.  Our thought life is a powerful thing.  We need our minds to be renewed (Romans 12:2).

Did you know that God is the author of positive thinking?  To think positive is to see the best in people, and to see what people could be; with God in their lives.  To think like God is to be gracious in our thoughts towards others and in how we see situations.

God is optimistic.  God is always willing to forgive.  God has an abundant supply of mercy.  God also calls sin what it is.  God loves the person while hating their sin.  God is hopeful.

When we "go negative", we are moving away from our connection with God in Christ.  There is a place for righteous indignation and godly anger.  But, more often than not, the Spirit of Christ in you will say, "I don't have a dog in that fight".  Translated, that means, "I refuse to be drawn in to negativity and will stay in the place of doing (and thinking) the positive things God has given or called me to do".

We always must remember that we are human, even though we are spiritual beings  having a human experience.  Our humanity has limits.  The H.A.L.T. acronym from recovery circles reminds us that when we begin to go negative, are tempted to go negative, or start feeling and thinking negatively; we need to look at these 4 things in our lives:
  1. Are you hungry?  Unless you are fasting, hunger and low blood sugar can really affect you mood.  Get some food.  You may also be dehydrated.  Get some water.
  2. Are you angry?  Everybody gets angry.  It is normal.  Anger is a secondary emotion.  Behind your anger is a loss or injustice.  Grieve the loss.  Forgive.  Process and eliminate the anger.  Let it go.
  3. Are you lonely?  It is not good that humans be alone (Gen. 2:18).  Phone a friend.  Be friendly and you will gain friends (Prov. 18:24).  Find someone lonelier that you and bless them.  This can be as simple smiling at people who are having their own troubles.  Go to a meeting: a meeting where people meet one another.
  4. Are you tired?  This is similar to the hungry/thirsty one.  We all need our rest.  You are not superman or superwoman.  You have limits and need rest.  Not taking care of the rest will lead to low moods and going negative.
Another reason why people who say they are Christian are so darn negative is that they have been hurt in their past and the toxic roots of their hurts are continuing to bear bad fruit in their lives.  Simply put, we are adults carrying around wounded inner children.

In her book, The Root of Rejection, Joyce Meyer describes in detail how childhood rejection can lead to a life of "negaholism".  When our inner self has it's reference point, it's sense of identity, in our childhood trauma or neglect; then we experience life in a way that God did not intend.  We need our lives healed.  We need renewal in our minds.

We each need to be Jesus' disciple and learn from him about the love of God.  It is a journey.
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Painting credit, from Kellie Falconer, artist unknown.

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