Are you worried or feeling low because of the constant negative thoughts and words from others or yourself? Does your mind continuously worry about how to protect yourself from all the things you fear? Battling negativity can get tiring and wear you out. The good news is you can change this by challenging your beliefs and finding positive thoughts and affirmations to replace them. What we believe deep down in our hearts is what we speak out and act out of. What is happening on the inside of us creates an atmosphere around us. It is a very good investment of your time and energy to replace beliefs that produce hopelessness with beliefs that are life-giving.
So what forms our beliefs? It is what we experience and reflect on. What we focus on and think about all day. Often people have a fatalistic approach – Prepare for the worst! And through constantly thinking about the worst, they get filled with fear and despair. But the Bible advises us that death and life are set before us in every situation but we are to choose life. Why? Because God promises that if we choose life, it will go well with us and our family (Deuteronomy 30:19). Nothing is as bad as it seems and by changing our thought life, we can experience a better outcome.
The power of positive thinking is not a cliché. It really works. But it is about a choice. We are creators – our words create our world. The Bible says “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21) What we say, is what we will get.
Once the decision to stay positive has been made, start to declare some quotes daily, it will change your attitude and your life. You may say “But that’s not really me!” or “If you knew the truth about this situation, you would know I couldn’t be so optimistic about it!” My friend, once you start saying what you would like to see happen, your beliefs will change and instead of living in fear, you will start to live in expectation of good. You will also become a blessing to others with your positivity.
Find a friend who would like to become more positive and make a covenant to change your thinking, like the one below.
1. Challenge every thought
Who said that?
I will know it by its fruit. Jesus said, “My words are life.” (Proverbs 4:22)
Does this thought produce LIFE in me? Do I taste love, joy, peace and HOPE?
2. Say the thought out loud
I will bring the thought out into the light and analyse it. A thought may seem reasonable in the dark recesses of my mind, but if I bring it out into the light by giving voice to it, it will appear for what it really is. “This thought is telling me …”
3. Consider if I would counsel anyone else with this same thought
If I imagine myself sharing this thought with someone I am counselling, would I really give them this advice if I were trying to help them? If not, why do I counsel myself in this way?
4. Does this thought empower me or disempower me?
Am I a victim of my own thinking? Do I have the mind of Christ, the mind of an overcomer in this situation?
5. Choose Life
Am I going to accept this voice of death in my life?
Death and live is in the power of the thought. (Words are simply vehicles of thought, so if death and life is in the power of the tongue, then death and life begins with the thought that the tongue gives expression to.)
The Bible says, “I set before you death and life, choose life.” (Deuteronomy 30:15)
I make a decision every minute of everyday who I am going to listen to. Jesus said, “Be careful how you hear.” I choose life.
6. Consider, is there a better thought?
It is impossible to think nothing. I must replace negative thinking with something else if I am to pull down the stronghold of wrong beliefs in my mind. There are many alternatives to the things I think. This is just one thought set before me. Is there a better thought? Here are some other options to consider:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8)
7. Prove all things, and hold fast that which is good. (1 Thess. 5:21)
(Credit: Some of these thoughts are gleaned from the teachings of Steve Backlund)
See here for a list of positive thoughts for the day - The Overcomers Confession