Positive Mental Attitude

<<optimistic mindset>>

The Bible exhorts us to see that ‘the light and momentary’ problems that we experience are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all, so we should be glad, seeing them in a positive light (Rom 5:3-5; 2 Cor 4:17,18). Even discipline and pruning bring about a desirable and healthy result – a better character and more fruit (Jn 15:2; Heb 12:11). This should cause us to “Be joyful always” knowing “When He has tried me, I will come forth as pure gold” as we look beyond the present painful experience to the beneficial result (Job 23:10; 1 Thes 5:16; Heb 12:2; 1 Pet 1:6,7). Although we don’t know what the future holds, we do know Who holds the future (1 Tim 1:12).

It is good to affirm statements such as ‘This is where Christ has put me, I will with His help excel in it and display His character…This is the marriage partner I chose, I will love him/her fervently regardless of their annoying

Is my conversation uplifting and positive?

habits...My job is developing in me character qualities that could not be acquired any other way…’ for “All things work together for the good of those who love God” (Rom 8:28). As we speak positive, encouraging words over ourselves and to others, these are to reflect our dependency on Christ and submission to Him. Love and praise are positive aspects of a close relationship, and should be regularly expressed as appropriate; they focus attention on the good and desirable, give encouragement and instill confidence. Courtesy, honesty and appreciation should characterise all our dealings with others.

To a large degree, the things we place in our spirits, by way of our thoughts, control our lives. The thoughts we think and the statements we make about ourselves determine our mental attitude for “As a person thinks in their hearts, so they are” (Prov 23:7). What we sow we will reap – the harvest is but a multiplication of the seed sown (2 Cor 9:6; Gal 6:7,8). We are responsible for our mental attitude – we are to carefully monitor the entry points as what we feed into our personality will be revealed at some stage (Mt 15:18-20). The Bible instructs us to “Guard your heart more than any treasure for it is the source of all that comes forth” (Prov 4:23). A positive person thinks about what is good (Phil 4:8).  Consequently the words that come out are a reflection of what has been stored in the heart (Lk 6:45).

We should review our thought processes to identify areas that need improvement and address them.

Being around those with an optimistic, energetic, positive outlook is uplifting, whereas being in the company of a complaining negative pessimistic person is draining. If you can’t talk about something positive, it is best to keep quiet. An over-comer has a positive attitude while a negative mindset indicates a defeated person. A positive mind focuses on what is good and wholesome. Discipline your conscious mind to be positive, so its power seeps into the subconscious mind; in times of need and emergency it will automatically react in a positive manner. Our enthusiasm, confidence and self-esteem are enriched by a positive mindset, but decline when fearful and negative. When things don’t go our way, we can quickly begin to react negatively, with our speech deteriorating into criticism, blame and excuses.  We are to ‘take captive’ (such) thoughts which are harmful and not beneficial (2 Cor 10:5). A positive person is often more other-focused, and certainly nicer to around than a grumpy, selfish negative person. We need to adapt to change and not having our perceived needs or wants catered to, as we would like. The present circumstance that may be causing us anguish of spirit is, if we are surrendered to Christ, the best thing to shape us for eternity.

A positive person handles the negative, trying and dark periods of life properly – overlooking the hurts, learning from past failures and moving on, not inhibited by the disappointments and setbacks. They are optimistic. Their faith in God remains intact, they look beyond the present to what will be, believing He is still on the throne, focusing

With Jesus I will come out of this a better person

on Who is for them, believing they can’t be separated from His love, neither will He will leave them and so they are more than conquerors (Deut 31:6; Rom 8:31,32,37-39).

Don’t throw away your confidence or boldness in the Lord, for He will deliver what He has promised, and is interceding for us to God (Rom 8:34; Heb 10:35-39). “Greater is He [Holy Spirit] who is in us Christians than he [evil forces] that is in the unbelievers” (1 Jn 4:4). Praise God for what He has done for you already (giving you salvation), what He is doing now (with your co-operation cleaning your life up, preparing you for heaven) and will do (escort you into heaven, never letting you be subject to the challenges of life on earth again).

Use the challenges of everyday life to make you into a better person. Your success or failure in relation to a problem or adverse event is largely dependent on your motivation and mental attitude, positive or negative. Problems and difficulties turn out to be the best things that could happen to us provided we translate them into advantages; they are stepping-stones assisting you onwards to accomplish your calling in God.

There is a correlation between what we think and feel, with the way our body functions. Tiredness, poor health or any number of other handicaps often cause people to think about what is wrong rather than seeing what is for them. Counting your blessings will make you a happy, positive person while dwelling on the problems will blight your spirit, besides causing some medical ailments.

A positive mental attitude must be anchored in the sovereignty of God. Possibility thinking considers “we are well able” when our reasoning is in alignment on His plans, our faith is centered in Him (where our strength lies) and our eyes focused on Him, (not those who oppose the purposes of God) (Num 13:30). David had a similar faith attitude, when he declared “Let no-one lose heart, I will go and fight Goliath”, then to this giant he said “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty” (1 Sam 17:32,45). See the possibilities in others, focus on their good points and believe the best, even if they continue to disappoint. When we don’t perform as we should, aren’t you pleased God doesn’t finish with us for He views us as ‘work in progress’ (Phil 1:6).

When you experience the inevitable misfortune, view it as only a temporary setback, a challenge for further growth – seeing it as an opportunity to proceed, being wiser and better prepared. View problems as a positive refining part of life, confident our sovereign God of love is still in control. When all went wrong, Job worshipped God (Job 1:20-22, 2:10). When David’s men were about to kill him for the mess they were in, David didn’t react or resort to self-pity instead he encouraged himself in God, the only true source for uplifting for his spirit, and ultimately all came right (1 Sam 30:6,19). Rather than rehearsing your misfortunes, recall the Lord’s blessings and praise Him – “I will bless the Lord at all times” (Ps 34:1).

It is erroneous to consider there is some supernatural power in positive thinking by which we can change future events and outcomes by thinking them into existence, by visualization and utilizing the law of attraction. This is a humanistic approach using will-power, fantasizing, and endeavouring to bring about change by self-effort. The Word of Faith movement believes words can be used to manipulate a ‘faith-force’, and thus actually create health and wealth independently of God’s sovereign will. This is nothing short of idolatry, turning our faith – and by extension ourselves – into God. Words are not magic. Speak out the Word of God, not your own personal desires and do not demand but, in trusting faith, ask God for help – recognizing that His involvement is not because of our ‘mustard seed’ faith but depends on His purposes, plans and  power.

A true Biblical approach accepts that while there is a link between a positive outlook and performance, this is vastly different to believing positive thoughts have inherent power to create an outcome or change the future. Similarly having a positive testimony builds faith as our eyes are focused on Christ

With Jesus, I am a victor

compared to self-promotion where the focus is self and is obtainable without any relationship or submission to Him. It is important we endeavour to understand what the will of God is in each situation and come into harmony with it, not trying to bring about what is not his intention by our own willpower and soul effort (Mt 6:27; Eph 5:17). By our human efforts it is possible to bring about some change however it is only through the Spirit that anything of lasting value can be accomplished (Zech 4:6).

Optimism is a major determining factor in our total wellness and achieving our goals in life. Take personal responsibility for your mental state; setting and reaching goals that are attainable and measurable results in a ‘success cycle’ – you will feel better about yourself and more likely to continue to achieve. Write out your goals in positive specific, clearly defined yet realistic terms (avoiding any negative words). Daily reinforce the goal, taking steps to bring it into being – remembering that it is the continual one-step after another progress that will bring about the desired objective, moving from ‘It can be done’ to ‘It is done’.

Positive people believe “With God all things are possible” seeing the possibility and in faith being prepared to have a go, tackling new challenges, and even if they fail they won’t live with the regret of not having attempted (Mt 19:26). A positive mindset has faith and is practical – it believes and acts on the Word of God, confident that He desires ‘my best’ at all times; it expects good things to happen, yet is realistic and if they do not eventuate will still be committed to God (Dan 3:17,18).

See also: attitude, confession (of faith), confidence, declare, entry points, faith, law of attraction, mindset, perspective, self-fulfilling prophecy, self-limiting, thinking/thoughts, visualization, word of faith.