By Stephanie Reck
Depression, anxiety, chronic stress and trauma can alter your emotions and bring forth negative thinking. Negativity alters the way you perceive yourself, other people, God and your circumstances. Learning to retrain your brain to think more positive will take time, discipline and commitment but there is hope if you desire to think differently you can. Our brains are pliable, meaning they can be molded for change. You can change the way that you think.
Positive thinking alone will not alone be enough to stop negative thinking, you need to fill your mind with truth from the Word of God; believe and speak the Word. Thinking on what is true, lovely, of good report and what is praiseworthy is not just positive thinking but scripture tells us to do this. (See Philippians 4:8)
Negative thinking is akin to pessimism, which is the tendency to take the most unfavorable view of situations and expect the worst outcome in these circumstances. Positive thinking is akin to optimism and the tendency or habit of seeing and expecting the good in things.
In view of the above definitions of what it means to have negative and positive thinking, what does the Bible say about thinking negative?
- Negative thinking bears bad fruit in your life.
- If you give place to negative thoughts, you will eventually become a negative person. For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7
- If your heart and mind are filled with negative thinking, you most likely will voice what is in your heart and mind. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasures of his heart brings forth that which is evil; for out of the abundance of the heart he speaks. Luke 6:45
- If you are walking in love, you usually don’t think negatively towards others. Love does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not your own, is not easily provoked, and thinks no evil. 1 Corinthians 13:5
If you are having trouble with negative thinking ask God to give you a new mind that is transformed by the Word.
Meditate on these truths. What are these scriptures saying to you?
- And do not be conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good, acceptable and the perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
- For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
- He will keep in perfect and constant peace, whose minds is stayed on You. Isaiah 26:3
- Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be anything praiseworthy, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
- If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on the things on the earth, Colossians 3:1-2
“We can’t always stop negative, fearful, or anxious thoughts from coming to our door, but we can choose which ones we will entertain.” Max Lucado
The realty is negative thoughts will come, but we can CHOOSE not to entertain, dwell, and meditate on the negative thoughts. We can CHOOSE to redirect our thoughts to what is good, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy. Some days are tougher than others when it comes to negative thinking, but don’t allow one off-day to cause you to spiral back into the vicious cycle of negative thinking.
If you have the same or similar “mental tapes” that are repeated over and over in your mind, you should bring those thoughts to the surface and into the light of Jesus Christ and allow Him to speak truth over those negative thoughts. Ask the Holy Spirit to erase these negative mental tapes. Then begin to focus on how God perceives you, other people, and your circumstances.
If you have identified with being a negative thinker which has now produced a negative attitude, make war on conquering negativity out of your life. The enemy will try and oppose you as you turn from this destructive habit, but be encouraged if you don’t give up; you will overcome.
“Thoughts, positive or negative, grow stronger when fertilized with constant repetition. That may explain why so many who are gloomy and gray stay in that mood, while others who are cherry and enthusiastic continue to be so, even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Please do not misunderstand. Happiness (like whining) is a matter of right thinking, not intelligence, age or position. Our performance is directly related to the thoughts we deposit in our memory bank. We can only draw out what we deposit.” Pastor Charles Swindoll.
Science confirms what scripture has been saying all along; we are shaped largely by our thinking.
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“Disciplining your mind 30 days to a better you!” by Stephanie R. Reck.