Word of Encouragement: Counselor’s Corner: Keep a Right Mind-Set
This is not an article on how to teach you how to think positive as secular psychologists or as new age thinking would, but how to keep a right mind-set through the truth in the Word of God. So many Christians are living pessimistic, defeated, and negative lives. God wants us to think His thoughts and be people of God filled with faith in our speech and in our thoughts. When we beat ourselves up, think negative thoughts about ourselves or others, or think worst-case scenarios over every difficult circumstance that arises in our lives, we are not living the life that God has for us. Most likely, if we are thinking these thoughts we will become depressed, anxious, tired, and be susceptible to a lowered immunity. You may be saying, “Well, you just don’t know what I go through.” I don’t have to know what you go through, I can say my life has been a fight. Nothing has simply come easy for me, and I have faced more trials and tribulations than I could possibly write about. I have endured seasons of wrong thinking, and it left me mentally and spiritually paralyzed.
Sometimes, we can have a predisposition for negativity or be dealing with depression, this can make negativity more prevalent. You will have to fight harder to regain control of your thoughts. Yes, I said fight. You can be on all the medications to help with depression but if you are not working to keep right thoughts, the medications will not be as effective.
Be careful of what you allow to enter your mind. Not all thoughts that come into our minds should we dwell, ponder, or agree with. Check your thoughts, and ask, “Does that agree with what God would say?” If it does not, immediately get rid of that thought. Start thinking of something else, a positive, faith-filled thought. If that thought keeps coming back, stop the thought and replace with another thought. It takes time to discipline our thought life, especially if your thinking has been that way for a while, or perhaps you were raised in a home where you were exposed to wrong thinking. But today is the day of change. Ask God to give you His mind and His thoughts. Keep pursuing this until right thinking is automatic, and all traces of your former thinking is far behind.
Focus on what is right in your life, and keep a daily gratitude list or journal. In the beginning this may feel strange or that it is not really helping, but renewing thinking patterns takes time; so keep going until you have achieved a right mind-set. Write out on note cards, scriptures and positive affirmations and say out loud daily, this is a way to purposely think about what you are thinking about. You have to be purposeful in pursuing this change in thinking. It may take a lot of work in the beginning, but it will be worth it. Negative thoughts will come to us all, but we don’t have to accept them. Train your mind to not accept negative, defeated, or discouraging thoughts.
Be mindful of the company you keep, if you are hanging out with negative people; the negativity could rub-off on you. Be careful of the material you read and the things you watch on T.V. Negative reports through the news can dampen our faith and cause us to think negative. Fill your mind and fill your life with positive, faithful people and positive activities. Guard your heart and mind constantly from negativity. When a difficult situation comes up in your life, don’t start speaking what you see, but start speaking faith over your circumstances. It is important not to react to our circumstances, and this begins in our thoughts first.