Our theme for this month: “A New Year, A New Beginning”
Our Bible verse for today: “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy – dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Train yourself to be positive”
A positive attitude will be one of your greatest assets in life. How we think matters more than we realize. Thoughts are powerful, and we tend to attract to ourselves the things that we expect. People with an optimistic and positive outlook tend to be happy and successful in life, partly because they expect to be and partly because their winsome nature is attractive to other people. People with a pessimistic and negative outlook tend to be brooding, unhappy, and relatively unsuccessful, partly because they expect to be and partly because their dark countenance turns people away.
Most people tend to lean in one direction or the other, either they’re mostly optimistic or mostly pessimistic. However, almost always that proclivity in either direction is a matter of conditioning rather than biology. Although in some cases there may be a neurological reason for a person to be dark and brooding (like Asperger’s syndrome), in most people they’ve simply learned to be that way. Our mindset is a combination of social conditioning, circumstances, the kinds of people we associate with, and it’s a matter of the influences we allow into our mind (like music and television).
Whatever your normal frame of mind is, optimistic or pessimistic, it’s a learned pattern of thinking and therefore it can be changed by learning to think differently. That’s what the Apostle Paul was getting at in Philippians 4:8. He was encouraging us to fill our minds with good influences and to train ourselves to dwell on thoughts that are wholesome and positive.
I’m not suggesting that changing your pattern of thinking is an easy thing to do, it isn’t. You will find it much easier to change your diet and exercise habits than to change your way of thinking. It’s a lot easier to turn a spendthrift into a frugal money manager than it is to turn a pessimist into an optimist.
And yet, it happens all the time. As a Christian you have the Holy Spirit at work within you bringing about the needed transformation. He won’t do it by magic, and He won’t force the change on you, but if you want to change from a pessimist into an optimist, or if you want to strengthen and enhance your already bright and cheery optimistic outlook, the Holy Spirit will help you to do it. You do your part by intentionally filling your mind with positive influences and making an effort to think positively instead of negatively, and the Holy Spirit will multiply your efforts. With His help, the change will come.
One of your most important and helpful assets going into 2020 will be a positive attitude. You can train yourself to be positive.