Have you ever been walking down the road, stubbed your toe, and thought to yourself, “the devil”? Or have you been on your way home from work after a long day and ended up stuck in traffic because there’s a major accident on the highway and thought to yourself, “today is not my day”? Or have you ever left a piece of cake in the fridge and have been going through your entire day thinking about it, only to get home and find that your husband/wife/child has eaten it? Then you get mad because “they knew you were coming back to it”.
No? Okay, maybe it’s just me then.
But the reality is that it’s all of us. Many of us can’t go through the day without having at least one negative thought, and for many others its way more than one. And it’s not because we are overly spiritual, or self-centered or greedy, but it’s because we are human. And as humans, we have flaws. And even when we think we don’t have flaws, that’s a flaw. As christian humans though, the Bible is the one place where we can find the remedy to the negativity that almost seems like second nature.
Have you ever realized that? How it’s so much easier to fall into a negative thought pattern than a positive one? That sometimes our minds jump to the worse possibility before we can talk ourselves down and “think more positively” – which is one of our mottos here at Keela’s Chronicles. Live Positive!
And by this point you might be thinking to yourself, “gosh, that’s me. I’m a negative Nancy”. Don’t worry, that’s me too, but I have found a way to combat that bad habit, and I’m going to share it with you, so you too can learn to have a more positive mindset and to think more positive thoughts no matter the situation.
Philippians 4:8 – And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
How to achieve a positive mindset?
1. Focus on what is true.
What are the truths you know? You know that God is good; that all things work together for your good; that God promised to never leave you nor forsake you. You know that your spouse loves you, that your children love you. You know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that you’ve been given the spirit of love, joy and sound mind. There are so many promises of God that are truths. At the moment when something goes wrong, and you’re tempted to think the absolute worst, focus your mind instead on the things that are true. If you do this enough, one day you’ll realize that those promises and truths are the first things that pop into your mind and not the negative, toxic beliefs.
2. Focus on what is honorable.
The word honorable in the bible speaks toward placing weight or respect on a person or thing (situation). So, in order to change your mindset to be more positive, focus your thoughts on things and situation that, in essence, deserve much thought and are worthy of respect. That means you don’t entertain thoughts of gossip or slander or bad-mouthing. You also don’t entertain the thought of people doing those things toward you. Instead, only use your thoughts to think on things that are worth your attention. This would include all respectable and heavenly things. So think about doing good, think about helping others and sharing with and being kind to fellow man.
3. Focus on what is right.
What is right? This might seem like a no brainer but many of us trip up on this so often. We are walking down the road and we see a homeless man and the first thing we think is ‘gosh I hope he doesn’t ask me for money’ or ‘I hope he doesn’t come close to me, he probably smells’. But the Bible tells us to feed the hungry and cloth the homeless (Is. 58:7, Is. 58:10, Matt. 25:34-40, Luke 3:11). And this is just the beginning. There is also stereotyping (judging a book by its cover, or rather a person by their appearance – tattoos, makeup, etc.), prejudging others in our mind without knowing the extent of the situation, and even the things we think when we get angry. Sometimes we think because we don’t say them then it’s okay, but the bible says that we sin in word, thought and deed (Matt 5:21-37). If we train our mind to think on right or righteous things, then just like training your body to do something, it will become muscle memory. This will help us have a more positive mindset toward other people, especially.
So, when you see that homeless person, whisper a prayer of help for them and give sacrificially from your heart. When you see a young woman in church whose dress may look a little too short, even of thinking poorly in your mind toward her, ask God to bless you in order that you can bless her with a new outfit. Instead of cursing out your husband in your mind when he upsets you, instead think of one thing you love about him and then ask God to change the situation. These are just a few examples.
4. Focus on what is pure.
Now this one can be hard, because it fights directly against the carnality of our flesh and the fact that we were born and shaped in iniquity. Having pure thoughts, not only to combat sexual thoughts but also thoughts of suicide, self harm, giving in to peer pressure, violence, etc. can be hard. This is one reason that the Bible warns us about falling into the trap of the lust of this world. However, it is not impossible.
The purest thing we have in our lives is the word of God, the Bible. And sometimes you have to fake it till you make it. I once heard a youth leader say that you have to focus on doing what you know you’re supposed to do so much, that you won’t have time to think about what you’re not supposed to do. And this is a powerful tool to use. Hide the scriptures in your heart (memorize them) and use them as your guard against certain thoughts. Stick them up in your room if you have to, so they are a constant reminder of purity. That won’t make the negative and impure thoughts go away immediately, but it will overshadow them enough to where you wake up one day and realize it’s been months since you’ve had one.
5. Focus on what is lovely.
This is one of my favourites because it helps us to recognize the beauty in this world. It’s easy to think “woe is me”, or “when will I catch a break” when things are not going right. But I like to look at the loveliness of life to recenter myself when I have thoughts like this. The bible draws reference to how God takes care of the birds and the lilies and how not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed as well as they are (Matt. 26-34). Then if God takes such good care of those, why wouldn’t he take even better care of me, his daughter and chosen vessel. That’s how you use the loveliness in life to create a positive mindset.
Look up in the sky and see the vastness, look to the ocean and see its expanse and recognize that the same God who has to power to create and maintain all of that in balance, is the same God you serve. He is the same God who promised to never leave you or forsake you and to give you your daily bread. This loveliness, this beauty can cultivate a powerful positive outlook on life and change your mindset completely.
6. Focus on what is admirable.
The King James version of this scripture uses the term “good report” in place of admirable here. What is of good report? It means to think on the things that bring about good news and good feelings. Like I said, we have a tendency to be negative Nancies. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed that it is always the drama and the bad things that get the best press coverage in the news and on social media. I mean, there are social accounts dedicated to sharing drama and spreading propaganda.
But as Christians, if we want to have a positive mindset and outlook on life, then we can’t be focusing all of our attention and free time of negativity and drama, and allegations and propaganda and all that mess. We have to look at the things that are of good report. So make it your business to share good news, The Gospel, and positive news stories on your social media and in your daily interactions. I know that you’ve heard the saying “you are who you surround yourself with”. Well, the Bible spoke about that first. It says “don’t be fooled, bad company corrupts good character” – 1 Corinthians 15:33. So if you surround yourself with people who love drama, there is no hope for you not to love drama too.
Stay away from negative people and those who only love to spread bad news and drama. This way you can focus on only positive messages that will uplift, enlighten and strengthen others.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” — Philippians 4:8 NLT
Thank you so much for reading to the end of this post. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them down below, and I will happily respond. Be sure to like, share and follow this blog, so that others may get the chance to be encouraged as well.
Remember to Live Positive.
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