We are a few days into the new year, and like most people I entered 2017 with a sense of joy and anticipation of what this year will bring to me. Riding that high all day January 1st was fairly easy: spent the whole day with family, had a wonderful church service, ate pizza for lunch, soul food for dinner, and my favorite football team won. But January 2nd took me back to work, and I hit a brick wall of negativity. Some was brought on by my own brain, and the rest was handed to me by others; but be the end of the day I couldn’t shake it.
People are always quick to talk about the power of positivity. We are no stranger the potential impact of positive thinking, but for every action there is a opposite AND equal counteraction. I know what Newton’s Third Law states, but I’ve referring to the actions in our brain and thoughts. Negativity, in your thoughts just as much power as positivity, and if it goes unchecked, will shut you down with a quickness.
Admittedly, I struggle with STAYING positive, because negativity has a way of creeping up on me a affecting my actions. Allowing the negative thoughts to change our behaviors is a dynamic that should not exist in the our lives; especially believers. For most of us, negative thoughts are inevitable, but we don’t have to let them paralyze us or change our course.
The Apostle Paul teaches in Philippians 4:6 to “Be anxious for nothing.”Anxiety is a negative state of mind, coupled with a subsequent nervous behavior: an inner turmoil that also affects behavior. He did not say that the negative thoughts would not come, but he challenges us to keep them from taking root. He says the remedy to the negative thoughts, is presenting and rehearsing our positive desires, goals, and preferred outcomes to God through a consistent dialogue with Him. This connection to God will cause your heart and mind to be still in the midst of the negative firestorm in your heart.
As good as this advice is, it is not enough alone. Bringing your anxieties to God, only creates a void that YOU have to CONSCIOUSLY fill with positivity. Remember, I said for every action in your thoughts, there is an opposite and equal counteraction; so you have to switch your thinking YOURSELF! He says, “you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” (Philippians 4:8, The Message, by Eugene Peterson)
It is up to YOU, and only you, to change the dynamics of negativity. If you put these things into practice, doing it over and over again, even if you’re doing it imperfectly, and God will make it work for you! (Philippians 4:9, Derek J. Murphy Paraphrase) .
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