Being negative is easy. Have you ever stopped to think about that? On any given day we can easily list a hundred things that have gone wrong, but recognizing that day’s blessings can be a little more of a challenge. In my world of church ministry I can ask for prayer requests, critiques, or complaints and get a laundry list of items. I tried asking about typical complaints during a sermon one time for fun and almost lost control of the crowd. It was pretty funny. By the time I got things back on track we all had to agree that the point I was driving at was pretty clear. Negativity just comes naturally.
On the other hand I can ask for praise reports, or observations of the things that are going well and sometimes all I get is crickets. Why? Our minds tend to focus on the negative. We weren’t meant to be that way, but we experience this as a part of the impact of sin on our minds. There is hope, though.
Part of the life that Jesus promised us is the renewing of our minds. Following Christ begins a life-long process of breathing joy, peace, patience, and thankfulness into our hearts and minds. This doesn’t instantly change our attitudes, but it gives us the power to begin building the discipline of bringing our minds under His influence.
That’s why we are told to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), take our thoughts captive (1 Corinthians 10:5), and think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Our thoughts have power, and we have to learn to bring them in line with God’s word. Directing them towards what is positive and uplifting is the key to genuine worship, and mental and emotional peace (See the rest of Philippians 4).
I’m not asking you to deny reality, but I am asking you to be disciplined about seeing and talking about the good things that are going on all around you. Notice the beauty of creation, give thanks for the people in your life who bless you, and look for the hundreds of blessings that God places in your path every day. This simple act will greatly impact the way you see your life, and will increase your ability to be a blessing to others.
*This post was first featured on the blog at www.fbchighlandcity.com