Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned, received, heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
I recently read, people misunderstand or misinterpret the idea of “adopting a positive attitude about life.” In theory, most accept as truth the only way to achieve a positive attitude one has to be happy go lucky everyday; there are no variations of contentment. As with all situations there is also a sect that closes their eyes to reality. In general, their intent is to trick themselves that events or negative actions did not take place. Both circumstances are wrong ways to a positive life.
By no means can I give all the antidotes in one short piece of writing on how to obtain a cheery attitude in regards to living. Nevertheless I will attempt to provide you with examples I feel are vital for us all in achieving a more Chrsit like mind set. Adopting a positive attitude is more about how you approach existence oppose to how you perceive or view it. It is so easy for a person to see the negative, cry whoa is me and give up on everything. It takes a strong will of effort and the faith of a mustard seed to fight through the burdens we so often tote along. If you have not experienced such set backs or any adversity your existence will sooner than later lead you to pitfalls, conflicts, mishaps and even disasters that will turn your happy world upside down! How you deal with these misfortunes will make the difference of total dismay, bitterness, and anger with God or some glimmer of joy until the sunny days come again.
The entire epistle of Philippians was written by a man who at one time was considered one of the most zealous enthusiastic and out spoken leader of the early Christian movement. During a time when he was incarcerated and dealing with personal issues; the symbolic ‘throne in the side’ - Paul, whose name was changed from Saul, was also a prominent figure of the Synagogue where he fervently protected and upheld the laws of his Jewish forefathers. It took fourteen years of ‘unlearning’ or changing his thoughts and beliefs before he was able to scribe one of the most joyous filled books in the Bible. By renewing of the mind Paul became one of Jesus’ greatest advocates.
Just take a moment to examine yourself: If you were faced with such a calamity as Paul being chained in a damp, cold, dreary dungeon of a prison could you find it all joy to write and encourage others to be of good cheer, full of joy, fellowship, and unity? Paul clearly stated his feelings in the first chapter: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers, I always pray with joy I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.” Philippians 1: 3-7 It is safe to assume we all would not have the same passion as Paul. In contrast our thoughts and letters would be mostly centered around our situation: Dear friends, I trust and hope this letter finds you all doing well. For me, considering my situation, I am in a dark place in life physically, mentally and literally, chained in the bowels of a dark cold cave. Though I believe God is with me it is hard for me to find joy in such a dismal time in my life. Paul never presented the negative he found joy and wanted to exemplify joy to others as a form of encouragement. By changing your thoughts you can change your world just as Paul did!
No where has it been written that being a Christian would be like tip toeing through the tulips on a bright and sunny day! Even Jesus met conflicts in his short life. However, God did pen through the various scribes of the Bible for us to count on his word and lean on it for understanding. What ever your crossroad is in life, find ways to keep joy in your heart; seize and take hold of it. Your moment of happiness may come in the form of a song, a joke, a smile or a compliment from a stranger. Take the nuggets and build upon them to conquer your sadness. It goes without saying but remember to also encourage others especially family friends and co-workers, In other words, people you frequently see. You never know what can make the difference in a person’s life.
Each situation we face during our walk of life has two sides; when faced with negative encounters seek guidance for positive solutions and when there is an over abundance of positivity sow and spread like seeds allowing them to grow and be a blessing to others. Give joy from the heart and never ever expect anything in return. Being a cheerful giver will bless you in the long run.
Remember, for every disappointment or missed opportunities realize there is something better just around the corner provided you focus on your possibilities not your impossibilities.
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