Honestly, I had no idea what to write about this week. With that is everything going on; clashes in Egypt, genocide in Lybia, earthquake in New Zealand plus the floods/fires/cyclones we’ve been battling here in Australia, I found myself feeling overwhelmed.. wanting to take a step back.. shield my eyes from the hurts of others..
So I figure, if I’m feeling this way, maybe some of you are too. This week’s post won’t teach you about trafficking or poverty or any social justice issues but it WILL help you to deal with the emotions and pressure often bought about by reading/learning/hearing about this stuff.
This post is heavily inspired by a recent series (Winning Over a Negative Mind) recently preached by our pastor at The Church at Vineyard and will hopefully give you some keys to help overcome negativity when it comes to visit.
But, you may say, I don’t need to read this – I’m a really positive person!
Great! Let’s double check by doing a mini quiz. 🙂
Am I A Positive Thinker Or A Negative Thinker?
1. What do you spend time thinking about the most?
(a) Things that irritate me. Reasons for failure and causes of anxiety.
2. What kind of people do you get along with the most?
(a) Negative, gossipy people.
(b) Positive people who are plugged into God.
3. How do you respond to positive feedback?
(a) Deny, deny, deny.
(b) “Thanks for that encouragement!”
4. How do you respond to problems and difficulties?
(a) Feel defeated and think “Woe is me.” Make the problems bigger than they really are.
(b) See it as a challenge; rise up and overcome.
Score: More than 2 a’s/less than 2 b’s = perhaps you do need to read on 🙂
The quiz is just a bit of fun but it really got me thinking. Am I a bit of a negative thinker? Do I let the woes of the world overcome me and affect my attitude towards life?
Fact is, most of us probably struggle with negative thinking.
Here are some quick tips on reigning in those negative thoughts and living the peaceful, abundant life God created us for.
- Arrest the negative thoughts and replace them with Godly thoughts.
- Negative photography images (negatives) are developed in darkeness and destroyed by light. Bring those negative thoughts to God and allow Him to shine His light on them.
- Choose to think about good things. It is our choice whether we decide to believe the promises of God or not.
- Be aware of what’s going on, but be confident about the future; the future God has for you.
- Don’t confuse being a realist with being a skeptic. It’s important that while we are aware of evil, we are also aware of the wonderful things God is doing and the beautiful people He has placed on this planet!
- Remember to thank God whenever something good happens.
- Dwell on the great thing God has done for you. You are forgiven and will live in Heaven forever – that’s a great place to start!
Remember: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
A little story about two shoe salesmen:
One day two shoe salesmen travelled to a distant country to sell shoes. One wrote back saying, “Don’t send any shoes – they don’t wear them here.” The other guy wrote back and said, “Send plane loads of shoes – they haven’t got any!” Perspective changes our life and determines how we approach different situations.
A couple of extra thoughts:
Negative thoughts create a negative person. Negative events don’t create a negative person.
What you think about becomes your desire; your desire becomes your vision; your vision turns into an action; your action turns into a destiny. If it starts with God’s plan, it ends with God’s plan. If it starts with a negative, it ends with a negative.
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
If you struggle with negative thinking, try writing down 100 things you can thank God for. Do this every day for a week (not necessarily 100 new things every day). What are you grateful for? The blue sky, a lovely flower, the sunset, the great looking building you pass everyday, a cool breeze?
Then make a list of fifty people who have positively affected your life and that you’re thankful to God for. Contact each of them by phone or card or letter and thank them for the influence they’ve had on your life. It may be a sunday school teacher, parent, friend, pastor etc. It could even be from thirty years ago!
Do these and you’ll very quickly change your way of thinking. It’s not a quick-fix but it’s a great first step. Enjoy the ride!
PS – You know what would help me think more positively (about this blog?) – your comments! No, I’m joking. No manipulation here 🙂 Comments are appreciated though so if you have any thoughts or experiences you’d like to share about negative thought, please, feel free!
Have a great, happy, positive-thought-filled weekend 🙂