Far too often, I put a negative spin on things. The soup was good but too salty. The church event was fun, but there was no emphasis on evangelism. My husband bought me this beautiful gift, but he shouldn’t have spent that much money. Are you like that?
I have a critical spirit, but I want to butt it to the curb. Why do I look on the dark side? Maybe it makes me feel smarter--only I have discerning taste. Maybe it makes me feel more spiritual--only I see things from God’s viewpoint. For whatever reason, I seem to walk on the rainy side of the street—without an umbrella.
But Paul says, “That’s not right.” In fact in Philippians he says, “If anything is true, if anything is noble, if anything is right, if anything is pure, if anything is lovely, if anything is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” Hmmm. I’m going to have to learn to think outside the negativity box.
I have already memorized that verse in Philippians, so that’s a good start. Now if I can only remind myself to turn around when I head south.
If the soup is too salty, I can remind myself that the carrots and peas and other veggies stoke my body with vitamins and minerals. If the church event lacks an evangelistic emphasis, I can supply one by asking someone at the event how they’re doing spiritually. If my husband spends too much on me, I can just stand amazed that he loves me--wrinkles and all!
Perhaps we also have negative mindsets about who we are. As a teenager a friend said my legs were my redeeming feature. I know she meant well and was trying to say I had “good” legs. (At least they were long.) But to me her comment meant something was wrong with the rest of me.
When I feel that my teeth are not white enough or my nose is too bumpy, I am going to remind myself of another verse: “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). As they say, “God don’t make no junk.” I may see pimples but God sees perfection.
When I feel overwhelmed by life’s situations and want to give up hope that things will ever get better, I can remind myself that God is in control by remembering “All things work together for good to them that love God . . . ." (Romans 8:28).
When I beat myself up for failing to stick to my diet or for grumbling at my hubby, I can remind myself that “God gives us power, love and self discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7). I do not need to cave to every impulse or emotion; the situation gives me an opportunity to grow in grace.
Maybe I can’t remember just the right Bible verse when I get myself in a wrong situation, but I can remember to: Touch the pause button and take a deep breath. Remind myself that I am God’s child, fearfully and wonderfully made. Think about something positive hidden within the negative. And thank God that he walks with me. That turns any bad news into good news! No buts about it!