May 7, 2008

Negative vs. Positive

"For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?] But we have the mind of Christ."

1 Corinthians 2:16


What we focus on, we become and so if we think in a negative way then we can quickly gain a critical spirit. We all know someone or may be the person who has "the gift" of suspicion. This person is everywhere we go. They are the ones who always seem to think the worst of everyone. No matter what good deed or nice word someone may give, this person is always there to comment in some negative way. They are the people who will say, "I just call it like I see it?" How familiar does this sound to you?

How easy is it for us to point out the shortcomings and failures of someone else? It has become so easy that we tend to focus on what we think is wrong with everyone else. As long as we can focus on the rest of the world then we do not have to focus on our own issues, which is much easier and less painful. Negativity is very difficult to deal with and we often try to undermine Satan and his attempts to create this stronghold in our mind by saying "I'm a pessimistic person". Well, that is the first step to recovery.

But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.

John 16:7-8

The second step would be to confess to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to search our hearts and point out to us our own sin. When we allow Him to examine our hearts, He will convict us and show us truth. (John 16:8) Many times, we read the word world in scripture and smile because we feel it is referring to all the lost and sinful people out in the world. This is true but we have to remember that we too live in that same world and are still sinners.

As God's children, we need conviction in our lives and we need the Holy Spirit to explore deep within us so that we can deal with the issues of negativity in our own lives. There are non-believers in this world that are positive but because they do not know the Lord, Satan already has control of their mind and so he has no reason to attack them with negativity.

Satan attacks us where we are weak and vulnerable. We all have weaknesses whether it is gossip, being prone to pessimism, lying or deception. None is worse than the other is and we all have to conquer our own sin. We need the Holy Spirit to come and reveal to us these natural places where we fail and where Satan will choose to attack. Only the Holy Spirit can convict and set us free from these strongholds. The only way this can be accomplished is if we allow Him control of our life.

Do you think anyone has ever thought of you as that person with "the gift" of suspicion? I am sure at one time or another we all have fallen into that category. We can change our way of thinking by focusing on having a mind like Christ.

"For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."

1 Corinthians 2:16

When we become believers, we are "given the mind of Christ" because He is alive within us. We should no longer think as we once did because we are a new creation and so we should begin to think as He did. This means we should stay focused on the many blessings within our life that He has given us and who God is within us. When the Holy Spirit is living within us our whole attitude and thought life should change.

When you think about what all Jesus went through, the deception and desertion by his own disciples, He remained positive and was always able to offer out encouragement to others. What this means is that because we have the mind of Christ, when negativity creeps in, we should instantly be aware that our focus is not on Him and that we should turn to thinking on what is true and right.

We have the opportunities to think in a negative way but when we think this way, we have then chosen our old mind-set instead of the mind of Christ within us. Each situation presents the opportunity to make these choices of good or bad. When we choose negativity, we are following the patterns of our old mind and not the mind that God has given us. Once we receive Him into our lives, He promises a new heart and spirit but ultimately we make the choice. We should be aware of our mind-set and attitude so that as we go about our day we remain focused and a reflection of Him.

"Father make me aware of my mind-set daily so that my old ways do not control my way of thinking and lead me down the wrong path. Help remind me of the love You have for me so that I may be an encouragement to others. Give me a discerning spirit so that I am aware the moment that negativity begins to take over my mind. May Your mind be active in my life."

1 comment:

  1. Great lesson....but it made me think of some Christians that have crossed my path in the the past years that make the assumption that having the mind of Christ allows them to BE Christ, therefore allowing them to "tell it like they see it." This ultimately is not a reflection of living a Christlike life but allowing Satan to get a stronghold on us. When I wake in the mornings I thank Father for the breath He gave me to do His work that day, put on my suit of armor, look in the mirror and say "Lord allow the reflection I see to be a reflection of you today", AMEN

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