In the eighties, when you started hearing more and more about “positive thinking,” many church folks scoffed at it. Some were vehemently against anything to do with positive thinking or speaking, others viewed it as another of the world’s many fads, and still others treated it as though it were a new form of hoodo that smart folks should have nothing to do with. For many, power was only to be found in “Christ” and not in thoughts or words because, after all, “positive thinking ain’t neeever changed nothing for nobody! Right?” Wrong!
I grew up hearing the scoffers – sometimes under our own roof. I will admit this colored my understanding of things, and it trained me to be skeptical of anything positive where this natural life is concerned. I have recently had to step back, take a good look, and question the ideology of those most holy scoffers of the positive. Scripture tells us to examine ourselves. Sometimes that examination takes us far below the surface of our issues. I took the plunge and would like to share something with you.
Those scoffing church folk from way back when (and even those of today) adamantly speak as though God has nothing to do with positive thinking or speaking. They would have us believe that efforts in the positive direction are futile or, at best, just a waste of time. Is this true? I must boldly declare it is a definite untruth! The Bible gives numerous precedents for both positive speaking and thinking.
Just to Clarify: Positive speaking/thinking is not about sitting around thinking rosy thoughts all day. The faith of believers, their trust in God, is directly related to positive thinking and talking – if we truly trust and believe Him that is.
Now, this post (and the next) is not meant to be an in-depth study of this subject – although it would be easy for one to really get into this and talk for hours. My purpose here is to give you something to chew on, some points to ponder regarding the importance of our words (both spoken and thought).
There are those who are eternal pessimists; THEIR glass is always more than half empty and, no matter what they do, it never works out for them to get a glass even half way full – like everybody else. They are forever broke, forever busted, and forever disgusted. For these people, God is always blessing other people and forgetting about them. Nothing good ever happens for them. Everything they try to do falls apart. They are unlucky, can’t buy a break ’cause they’re always broke, don’t know why they were even born, and wish they were dead!
I am not exaggerating here; I have heard this kind of rubbish with my own ears. I know people who are suffering from deep-seated Eeyore Syndrome (“Thanks for noticing me”) and have been for over 50 years. The sad thing is that a lot of this stuff pours continuously from the hearts and mouths of professing believers; those same “believers” who knock the positive!
The lack of understanding that what we say and think matters is why numerous children are raised to carry on the plight of the pessimistic, cynical, weak, nominal christian. I know because I am one who recently had to put that banner down and pick up truth. I didn’t really know anything about trusting God for anything, and I lived life as though what was would always be. I never looked for changed or allowed myself to think past the day. I just existed, which is what a pessimistic mindset and atmosphere breeds. People of God are not supposed to be like that. What we think and what we say Matters! It is of no consequence if we believe it does or not. I submit that if we nurture a Negative Nelly mindset then we are christians in name only and must change.
From what I have witnessed over the years, Negative Nellies will not obey the Word of God. They may talk about God’s goodness and quote the proper verses, but they refuse to actually live by the Word. Individuals like this always have a “but” or a “not always” ready in regards to the promises of God; they are always ready to explain why God’s promises do not and have never applied to them. Negative Nellies are actually double-minded — which is quite possibly the root of their life’s problem!
In the next post, we’ll have the Bible explain further.
Until next time – watch your mind and mind your mouth!
** What do you think about positive thinking and speaking?
Do you feel it’s a crackpot idea or just one of those things that sound good to the ear but has no substance?
Were you against it at one point but have since learned better?
Are you a positive thinker and speaker? Have you benefited?
2 thoughts on “Does it Matter What I say and How I think? Part 1”
For many folks positive thought\speaking is a way of being. Regardless to the truth they face daily. My only thought about it is if it helps, do it. The reality is that faith without works is dead (&vice versa) and for many Christians positive talk is just that. What you say has definite merit, but always keep in mind that sometimes lives are so damaged that the folk can’t see the reality of what you say. Been there!
I would like to address this based on both your replies to parts one and two on this subject.
Believe me, I know all about a damaged life. And I know about the “christians” whose talk is just that, talk; all fluff and no stuff makes jack a nominal christian. Life is filled with both sunshine and rain storms. God knew this when he provided instruction in His Word on how to handle this life (a right mindset can help you get through whatever trials you are in, and a wrong one can make a situation much worse). Jesus, Paul, Peter etc… all had tremendous trials to face and go through. But I guarantee you they did not go through them with a heart, mind, and mouth full of negativity and contradiction of what God has said. That is what I think you do not understand. If you are going to have faith in God, TRUST in God, you have to have it further than your mouth speaks. If you don’t like the word positive, replace it with faith (or trust in God). Don’t think for one minute, when Paul was faced with death, that he closed in to drown in the tears of his own self pity party. Go and read it, without the aid of jaded glasses. Paul, as well as numerous others, did not let their circumstances dictate their world view. They continued to think and speak through faith’s outlook which, I’m sorry it offends you, is a postive one. Trials get hard, they can sometimes last long, and cause you to ask God for relief; even Jesus requested relief from what was staring Him in the face (we haven’t dealt with anything near that). Not one time did He contradict God or become undisciplined in the things he let come out of his mouth regarding himself or his situation. The difference for believers is that our “positive thinking/speaking” is based on our God and what He has said and what HE can do. It is not ignoring the issues we face; it is keeping our focus on the God we can trust, waiting on His timing, and refusing to allow ourselves to lose hope and trust in Him. One thing I can tell you from experience is that you need to let go of what “other christians” have said and done over the years. Throw out all of the bad examples, errant teaching, and other junk. Pick up your Bible and determine to find out how to live for and trust God for yourself, without the trappings of other people. Human beings ruin other human beings, but God can bring correction and healing. The question is whether or not we are so comfortable with our pain and disappointments that we are afraid to leave the baggage behind. I urge you, I beg you, to push the stumbling blocks out of your path and move to freedom. Only then will the walls of your Jericho come tumbling down.
Check out my other posts: Finding Faith , Heart Speak , The Heart
God bless you!