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Think About It

Everything that we do and say happens first in our mind. The signals from that central location make the parts move and the words come out that can course our lives. The body reacts to those impulses and goes places and acts in certain ways that define our existence. The mind, will, and emotions set the direction for who we are.

In a world filled with imagery, signals from any number of sources, audio input, and visual witness of actions, it is no wonder the Bible encourages us to have the "mind of Christ."

You have probably heard of "Positive Mental Attitude" seminars and people teaching that if you say things out loud they will happen, and you can influence the events of life by thinking in a certain way and focusing hard enough on what you want. There is some truth to this, and it may be all well and good, as long as the motives are pure.

In my own experiences, I have learned that speaking positively about things has, at the least, created encouragement in situations. I have found that being negative in thinking and in speech only causes increased stress and a bad mood.

How can thinking affect your health? I am an anxious person. I always wonder what tomorrow is bringing, and I sometimes have a hard time relaxing and enjoying the day. I am getting better at this as I get older. I find that wondering about tomorrow or upcoming events causes worry. Worry, if I am worrying about something I consider very significant, can sometimes make me physically sick. Nothing is physically happening, like food-poisoning, to make me sick. I have made myself sick as a result of my worrying...something that occurs in my mind. By the same token, I have felt a sore throat and cough coming on and I have said out loud, "I refuse to get sick. I am not getting sick." This hasn't worked every time, but it has on occasion.

It seems that we have no trouble expressing negative faith. "That'll never work." "You're wasting your time." "I'm getting sick." "I'm not going to get that new job." Even if these expressions have no affect whatsoever, they do stir a negative reaction, and negative impulses like these can make me anxious, and then I worry, and when I worry, I become sick. I guess it's easier to predict things negatively because there is nothing to lose by being right. If you do get the job, then that's a good thing and that blessing erases the negative prediction. On the other hand, if you, in faith, say, "I'm going to get that job" but you don't, then you question God and yourself and you feel loss. Naturally, we lean toward the negative expression because there's little or nothing to lose by making those statements. But how harmful can they be?

I would assume that your thoughts and the words expressed by them matter to some degree, otherwise the Bible wouldn't suggest that we "think on these things." The Bible tells us to think about things that are pure, good, of good report, and kind. Thoughts of this nature don't do damage to your emotions or well-being. They are pure and good. Thinking along these lines encourages faith and positive things.

There are people that express negative thoughts almost constantly and unless you thrive on that pessimism, perhaps their comments should be avoided for the betterment of your life. Be realistic, but be positive and encouraging and allow room for God to be involved in your dreams. Nobody has ever been destroyed by a positive word, but many have given up or failed to try because someone said something negative.

Being a fan of the Chicago Bears for the last 15 years has turned me into the eternal optimist. Someday before I die, they will be back in Superbowl contention, regardless if in the past 10 years they have rarely made it to the playoffs. When you're down by two touchdowns and a field goal, don't give up yet...maybe there'll be a couple turnovers and you'll get the ball back.

Think positive. "Think on these things."