Scripture: Philippians 4:
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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Observation: We choose each day the thoughts we will dwell on, and what we choose to dwell on makes a powerful impact on how we experience our lives.
Application: There is a lady who I have worked with in two different places who taught me a very powerful lesson about controlling thoughts. She had been a sales representative selling advertising at a local radio station when I was a D.J. back in the 80’s, then later on in the 90’s I worked with her at a Car lot, where I was in sales, and she was in customer service. The thing about this lady was that no matter when you saw her, she was smiling and happy and bubbling over with enthusiasm and friendliness. I often wondered how she was able to keep such a positive attitude, especially in the stressful occupations she was involved in. So I asked her about it one day, “How are you able to always be so happy and in such a good mood?” She told me, “It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I decide that I’m going to think good thoughts, and have a good day, and be positive even when I’m faced with negative people.”
I had never before really thought about moods being something we had a choice about. I would be happy, or enthusiastic, or excited because things were going well, or because the sun was shining, or because I’d had some kind of success, and if the opposite stuff happened, I would be sad, or angry, or depressed. To me before that time I never realized that my moods were really under my control, and I had a choice about them. It always seemed that my current mood whatever it was at the time was something that happened to me rather than something I chose to do.
I’ve often thought about those few wise words that my co-worker gave me, and I realize now that although I may not be able to control all the specific little circumstances that pop up in my life from day to day, I CAN control the way I react to them. There is a moment between what happens to me, and how I react to it that I am able to choose a path. The easy path is usually to lash out at the negative things, and try to fight them or gain control over them by brute force in some way, but as the case often is, the easy way is seldom the right way or the best way.
Paul was trying to tell the Philippians something here that I think has a very powerful message for us today. Although you can choose to think of all the negatives in the world, in the church, in your job, your family or whatever, its always a better choice to focus on the good things. What you focus on becomes more abundant in your life, so put away the negatives and think on the good for a while and see what happens.
Prayer: Lord God Almighty,
I thank you for the positive things in my life. I thank you for blessing me with a loving wife, with great children, a dear family, a faithful church, and all the other little things that I sometimes take for granted. Help me to focus on the positives around me and to disregard the negatives and count them as nothing.
Yield: I give up whatever need I have to focus on the negative things.