It is normal for us as humans to make plans and hold expectations but one of the few constant things in life is disappointment. When this occurs, we tend to become overwhelmed and discouraged. Unfortunately, the more we dwell on these negative thoughts, the more we may be likely to get lost in them.
I have thought about why we are more inclined to have a negative attitude to life than a positive one. Why is it that when we spend some considerable time and effort getting and applying tips to developing a positive attitude, one trivial event will occur and send us back to square one? Why is it that this cycle of sadness revolves on and on; and no matter how hard we try, it seems impossible to put a stop to it permanently? I have realized that it comes mostly from our thoughts and actions. Negative attitude is a product of negative thoughts which is a product of negative reactions which is itself a product of negative behavior. We can learn a great lesson from Joseph; in spite of the turbulent experiences he had, he never lost his trust, joy and optimism. He kept a positive attitude by trusting God, praising Him and thanking him for his many gifts and God rewarded him in ways that no man could have predicted. Imagine if his attitude had faltered when it mattered the most. He would have lost out massively! While we continue to withstand all that life may be currently bringing our way, let us get optimism and joy from the assurance that God has an excellent plan for our lives that was specifically mapped out from the very moment of our creation. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
God has also given us a model to keep a positive attitude. The book of Joshua 1:8 says: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success”. By meditating on the word, we can identify 3 clear models for developing a positive attitude the way God intends:
- Thinking positively: Our thoughts are significant in shaping our attitude to life. Proverbs 23:7 says “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. What your mind dwells on matters. If your mind is centred on good thoughts, you will have a positive spirit but if on negative thoughts, you will have a negative spirit.
- Speaking positively: There is power in the tongue; Proverbs 12:14 tells us that “From the fruit of their lips, people are filled with good things…” We need to keep God’s word in our mouths by making positive affirmations and confessions of faith. Communication of our faith becomes effectual by acknowledging every good thing that is in us in Christ Jesus (Philemon 1:6). When we make this a habit, we will be surprised at how they can positively change our attitude towards life.
- Acting positively: It is important for us not to be just hearers of the word but to go a step further by doing the things we have heard. When we act out our faith, we are authenticating and appropriating these assurances for ourselves.
These models will change how we think and help us develop a positive attitude to life if inculcated into our daily lives. Remember always that God’s idea of the right attitude has no negativity in it and to obtain God’s desires for our lives, we begin by thinking the right thoughts.
Written by Temitayo Ogunmokun