Philippians 4:8 (NIV) says, ” 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
How can you not love an admonition like that?
Are those the kinds of things that you think about on a regular basis? Do you look around every day and consider the noble, pure and lovely things around you. Do you think about the things that are praiseworthy and true? Or do you find yourself caught up in a barge of negative thinking?
Why is is so hard sometimes to focus on the good rather than the bad? Why is it we can have 10 good things happen in a day, but we will remember and focus on the one very rude person who cut us off and then shot an unkind hand gesture our way.
Is anger a stronger emotion than joy? Is sadness stronger than happiness? Is hate stronger than love? I wonder if in the realm of human nature those negative emotions might not have more of an impact than the positive ones.
What lingers longer, a caress on the cheek or a slap across it? A casual smile from a stranger or a dirty look from that same stranger. What impacts you more, the words “I love you”, or the careless words of someone saying, “you make me sick”? What will our human nature cause us to focus on?
It’s also sad when we do all sorts of things right, and have so many blessings in our life; yet instead of focusing on them, we focus on our problems and faults.
For some reason it does seem that negative emotions and actions often trump positive emotions and actions in the area of human nature. I think that is why the scriptures tell us in Colossians 3:2 (NIV) 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
It’s a matter of discipline and habit. If we have ourselves trained to focus on the bad, evil and unfair things of life it is hard to see anything else. Even though you may have a relationship with God, if you don’t follow His example and focus on higher things you’ll never live a life of joy and happiness.
God sees and knows of all the evil that goes on on this earth. Do you believe that God focuses on those things? If he did, none of us would survive. God is a God of love and all the attributes that go with love.
As I said, negative thinking is a habit, and like any habit it can be overcome. It starts with training ourselves to think differently and to start viewing our situation in a different light.
Start by making up a bunch of index cards with positive affirmation saying, things like “I am so blessed”, “I have the favor of God”, “if God is for me, who can be against me” and tape them all over your house. I would even carry some of them with you and look at them often.
Also, make a list of the good and the bad things in life, and if you are honest about it, you will find that like most of us there is much more good than bad in your life. You just need to start focusing on it.
They say a habit takes about a month to develop. Why not take the next 30 days and really make an effort at changing your thinking around. I would also like to suggest that you read Phillipians 4:8 several times a day.
If you stick with it, you will find in a very short time that as your focus changes, so will your life.
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