A teacher places a picture of a glass of milk in front of a student and asks the famous question; "Is this glass half empty, or half full?" From the student's response, the teacher would label the student as either an optimist, or a person who possessed a positive attitude; or a pessimist, a person who possessed a negative attitude. The idea behind this popular personality test was that if a person said that the cup was half full, they were most likely to think positive thoughts. These people always searched for the good in any person or situation. On the contrary, if the person's response was that the cup was half empty; they were most likely to think more negatively and would make decisions based solely on what they could see before them. They did little to no searching for anything else besides what was concrete before them. A good motto for this group would be "It is what it is." While there was no right or wrong answer to this test, conclusions were made based upon a person's answer. It was thought that optimists were more likely to be successful because they would strive beyond what they could see in "reality". Optimists were thought to take more risks. Optimists were also thought to get the most out of their life. Since they focus on the positive aspects of living, they were also thought to have less emotional and mental frustrations.
One day last week, I was lost in my frustration. It seemed like every direction that I turned, something lie ahead of me to battle. I saw little positive, and began to wonder why I couldn't just focus on the positive aspects of my life. I began to wonder why I expelled so much energy into thinking about the negativity that had decided to pay me a visit. Then I thought back to this test. My answer was that the cup was half empty!
Wow! I knew I could be a negative force at times, but I did not realize how much the negativity was impacting my life. ALL of my thoughts had been negative all week long! Even though I prayed each day, spent my quiet time with God, and even spent time in meditation, the negative thoughts remained. I no longer had control of my thoughts! Negativity, which is not of God but of the enemy, had intruded upon my thought processes. Each time I attempted to think of something positive, the negativity would creep back to the surface and show its ugly face again. I knew I needed to pray about this dangerous disease because in my opinion, when a Christian can think of nothing positive, that is a sign of joylessness. I refused to allow these thoughts to kill my joy! God has been too good for me to allow a few obstacles to steal my joy! I began to pray, and God directed me to His word, the source for all answers. If you need direction, it's in His word!
I found myself in the book of Philippians, where Paul is writing a thank-you letter to the Philippi believers. Paul reminds this group of people, who oddly could support Paul in his time of need but are at odds with one another now, that joy can be attained only through Jesus Christ. Paul uses Jesus' life on earth as an example of the distresses that can arise in life. He also reminds them of how Christ handled these distresses, and that they should use His life as a model on how to handle the distresses that may come. One verse of my reading on that day echoed loudly in my thoughts as I began to tackle the negativity that had my mind paralyzed. With this verse, I rebuked negativity in the name of Jesus!
Paul challenges the Philippians to take control of their minds in Chapter 4, verse 8.
Phil.4:8 states, Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.(KJV)
None of the things that Paul lists in this verse are negative things. It is in the word of God that we should think positively. Some would say that the power of life and death lies in your tongue. You have to think something before you speak it. I think that the power of life and death also lies in your thoughts! If you think negative, the result will be negative. If you think positive, searching for good in what seems bad, you find Jesus in all your situations molding and shaping you! I have decided to refuse to let situations, circumstances, people, or a diagnosis take control of my thoughts. When someone or something controls your thoughts, they also control you!
Think about this:
Your thoughts control your actions.
Your actions control your results.
Your results control your motivation.
Your motivation leads to your destiny!
Will you choose to travel on the positive path to your destiny, or to the negative destination of nowhere?
God gives us a choice!
Why not come and travel with me today?