The Positive Christian – Part 1

Why is it so much easier to have a negative attitude than a positive one? What’s inside of us that just naturally yanks us toward the negative side? Does being a Christian mean we get an automatic “pass” on depression, negative thinking and attitudes? Doesn’t it mean we shouldn’t be experiencing these things?

Simply put – negative attitudes come from negative thoughts – and those come from reaction to negative behavior/attitude, our own or others. Around and around the cycle goes. So where is it coming from? And, what can we do about it?

Well, we know that this negativity isn’t coming from God. There is nothing negative about Him!

Our negative actions and words are coming from our own negative thoughts. However, it is possible to control our thoughts, regardless of what we’ve been led to believe.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV)

And the very first thing you can do is the moment a negative thought comes into your mind, purposefully replace it with a positive one. At first, this may take a lot of work, but valuable work, because chances are, we have a lot more negative thoughts in our head than positive ones.

What else should we do?

Changing our habits and our attitudes by replacing old, negative actions, with positive ones:

1.) Stop letting negative people into our attitudes and thoughts. The negative people in our life aren’t going to like it when we stop participating in negativity; the old adage of “birds of a feather flock together” is very true, but even more so is “misery loves company”. We need to stop hanging around when people start to prattle on negatively. We can’t afford to listen to this when the end goal is for us to become more positive. Simply smile, excuse yourself, and walk away. Just don’t listen to it.

2.) Make a list of all the things in your life that you want to change. Then, list your positive attitudes about these things. Build yourself up a little! Alos, list all your negative attitudes too. (If you can’t think of things to put on your list, just ask your friends & family). Don’t worry about judging this list – yet. Just hang onto it, for now.

3.) Take some time to write strong, positive affirmation statements for yourself. Things like, “I am a supportive person, my friends can count on me when they need help.” -or- “I am good to myself, I try to eat well and exercise three times each week.” Whatever YOU are doing, are, feel, think or hope for yourself can be a positive affirmation statement. Then, make a commitment to read those statements – out loud! – every day. Yes, out loud! Maybe in front of a mirror… no matter how silly you may feel. Just know you’re making progress and just keep affirming the positive.

4.) ACT the way you want to BE. Not to be false, but to encourage positive outlook and thought. You need to learn NEW habits to replace the old negative ones you have left behind, and habits aren’t formed overnight!  After all, the Psalmist wrote:

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”
(Psalms 126:2 NIV)

Doesn’t picturing that bring a smile to your face? THAT is what you have to look forward to, here on earth, and, one day, even more so in Heaven!!! Joy is the legacy of every Child of God, not despair, depression or negativity.

5.) Last, but certainly NOT least, PRAY about this. You can’t change by yourself. But you can spend time with the One who is able to help. Do what you can, and let God do the rest. It really IS that simple. Keep in mind, our most negative thinking is often about God Himself. Our actions reveal our beliefs. How? By forging ahead entirely on our own because we think we really can’t trust God to do what He said for us. We beat ourselves up with guilt and we feel alone because we think He couldn’t possibly love us and can’t forgive us. By meeting God in prayer, we can give Him the opportunity to help us with these negative feelings and attitudes, replacing them, instead, with His own.

Remember that little list? Take it out six months from now, and compare what you have on it with what your life is like now. See where the changes have taken place, and check your progress towards your goals – or, maybe, your goals may have changed, as God has led you on the path He would have you walk with Him.

In the final resolution we may (and often do!) backslide and go back to our old, comfortable ways. But even if it takes constant effort, this is a job well worth doing and that’s worth doing it well. Trust that God will fulfill His promises to you, and will supply your every need and that He will send His Spirit to guide and prompt you every step of the way. If you fall down, get right back up and back at it again. Remember, God loves YOU- uniquely and without reservation. You are a brand new creation from the moment you accept the gift of salvation, and He wants you to be transformed, more like His image, and what you WERE is, as far as He is concerned, gone, no longer existant, wiped away, made as if it had never been, covered in the snowy mantle of salvation:

“…as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
(Psalm 103:12 NIV)

So, because of this:

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
(Romans 12:2  NIV)

God wants to be involved in your life – no matter how large or small. By letting the light of God’s Presence into every part, every nook and cranny you can experience daily, moment to moment the renewing of your spirit that God has promised for you. We, in and of ourselves, are often weak and inconstant creatures, but God is desiring to provide us with the strength and the Will to transcend those weaknesses and to become the radiant and joyful co-Heirs of the Kingdom we have been promised to be.

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 3:10-14 NIV)

And for you, dear reader, this is my prayer for you, as Paul said in his letter to the church at Ephesus:

“…I (sic)ask(sic) that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you…”
(Ephesians 1:17-18 NIV)

2 responses

30 07 2009

Good idea with the list, I like where your thoughts went with this I cannot wait to read more.

16 04 2019
Being Positive Brings Joy Into Your Life:Chapter 5

[…] The Positive Christian – Part 1 […]

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