April 11, 2016

The Power of a Positive Mindset

I do my best to have a good attitude. I really do. I know everybody has their own problems. For that reason, if anybody asks how I am, I don’t give them a detailed list of everything that’s wrong—although I would be justified in doing so. My friends and family don’t need anything more to worry about.

The E-Mail

I had to take a step back this morning. I realized I had written to a close friend about my complicated, ongoing struggles with bitterness and a “victim mentality”.  Although my attitude was perfectly understandable, it wasn’t productive. In fact, I usually scorn such a mindset because it doesn’t help anyone to move forward. It doesn’t break any bondage; it just reinforces the strength of the current ones.

My Family

They really annoyed me last night when I wasn’t feeling well. (Of course, I never annoy them!) If I had allowed that feeling to dictate how I was going to act towards them, I would have regretted it later. I had to choose not to act on the emotion. As it was, I went to bed slightly angry, but with a clear conscience.

Come on! You know you’ve been in the same situation!

Some may say that I should have talked things out with them right away, cleared the air. Well, the best time to resolve differences is not when someone is sick, tired, or angry. That solves nothing; it only makes bigger problems in the long term.

I chose not to give in to my immediate feelings of frustration. As a consequence, I don’t have any messes to clean up today. What a relief!!!

Thoughts on Emotions by Joyce Meyer:

“Decide to be happy.”
“Don’t think about everything that falls into your head.”
“You do not have to live by how you feel.”

The Bible

“Do not conform 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)

The most powerful scriptural passage on attitude was written by the apostle Paul while he was in prison. In fact, evidence shows that he knew he was going to die soon:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of god, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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.”—Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV)

My Conclusion

We can control our thoughts no matter what our situation may be. Some people cannot move from a hospital bed due to chronic illness or injury. Others are functioning in society despite severe limitations.  Only the lucky few seem to breeze through life with few challenges. What decides how they act? Not their circumstances. Attitudes determine actions.

Haven’t you seen privileged individuals act selfishly and destructively? Enough said!

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When did you last take an attitude check?

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