News and Views
The Thanksgiving Holiday is over, but that does not mean that we should forget about giving thanks from a grateful heart. In fact, maintaining an attitude of gratitude is an important part of living a good quality life.
To a huge extent, we determine our quality of life by the choices we make, If we choose to let that flow of thought that runs constantly through our minds to take its own course without any conscious control, then much of our life will be similarly uncontrolled. On the other hand, if we learn to maintain control over that constant stream of thoughts, we basically gain control over ourselves. It works this way. Our attitudes either feed into that steam of thought, or result from it. Change the stream of thought, and we change our attitudes. Control over the stream of thought and changed attitudes leads to controlled responses instead of uncontrolled reactions. Our actions also grow out of our attitudes, as do our emotions. To choose to change our constant stream of thought and the attitudes that accompany it is, therefore, the first and most important step to gaining self-control.
From a slightly different viewpoint, we are told in Romans 12:2 to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind," and in Galatians 5:23, self-control is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit. Anyone can choose to gain control of their inner stream of thought, and from there, control of themselves, but it certainly is easier and more positive for Christians working in partnership with the indwelling God the Holy Spirit.
Let us briefly consider the other side, the way this works in the negative mind. Those who choose by default to allow negative, critical thoughts run through their minds controlling their attitudes, actions, and emotions, often find themselves unable to recognize or appreciate excellence. Instead, when they see excellence, they deride it. Not understanding excellence, they try to change it and destroy it. When enough similar negative minds attract each other and come together, they can bring about considerable harm.
To return to learning to control the constant stream of thought, we need to realize that it is not effective to try to refuse a particular line of thought. To think about refusing to think about X is, in fact, to think about X. Instead, we need to replace the negative or otherwise unwanted thoughts with positive, wanted thoughts. In some situations, we can find positive alternate thoughts that are specific to the situation, but it is also helpful to have some generic positives available, too. This is where an attitude of gratitude can come in and help us. No matter how bad the situation, there is always something for which we can be thankful: a sunny day, a warm jacket, a pet to cuddle, a source of help. We can think about God and how limitless He is in a multitude of ways including goodness, power, knowledge, presence, creativity, and care. In spite of His vast immensity beyond our understanding, He loves us. He loves each and every person completely, knowing the best for them, wanting the best for them, knowing that the very best for them is to come to Him through the finished work on the cross of Jesus Christ and to grow in that relationship with Him. Therefore, we can always fill our thoughts with Him, with thanks for His love and care, with praise for His goodness and greatness. Countless numbers of people have found praising God anyway to be a major positive turning point in their lives.
Therefore, we are wise to choose to live with positive thoughts and an attitude of gratitude, all of which helps in gaining the self-control which is the most valid source of healthy self-esteem and self-confidence
other articlesCHRISTMAS 3--GOD'S PREPARATIONS
The Problem With Humans
Thinking Outside the Box
Discerning Truth From Fiction
GOD DOES NOT CHANGE
How Good Are Christians?
THE SIMPLE GOSPEL
THE SIMPLE GOSPEL
WHO KNOWS WHAT'S BEST
THE GREATNESS OF GOD
Christianity Is A Relationship
HAPPY EASTER CELEBRATE!
Experiencing God’s Family