It can be easy to dwell on the negative circumstances that happen from day to day. “The nerve!”, I might say for people who cause offense. “Now what?” to yet one more demonstration of Murphy’s Law. The list can go on.
The mind is the seat for transformation. What we dwell on has the power to drive us. What we think of repeatedly can occupy, reside in, fill up our minds and plants seeds in our hearts. It bears fruit through our words and actions. The more we think of the negative, the closer we get to becoming nega-stars.
Romans 12:2 tells us how renewing the mind can transform us: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” When temptation to remember the negative arises, we can meditate on God’s truths… how he is greater than our circumstances, feelings, and other people’s actions; how he is sovereign and is at work for the good of those who love him. Even annoying delays to get to work could actually be a mighty sparing from a mishap. The bigger picture will point out that whatever is happening, God allowed it, through the filter of his love and kindness. An immunization for tetanus is so stinging and expensive but it is better than getting infected with tetanus itself. Many things we will not know the answers of right now or on this side of heaven. We can ask God much later. In the meantime, may God strengthen you and me so that we will not be consumed nor ruled by the negative goings-on around us. May we not stumble. May we finish well. Many years later, the circumstances today will be a memory and we will be able to look at them more dispassionately and with wider understanding… perhaps even appreciation.
When I hear myself speaking unworthy words, I know that I have muck in my heart that needs a good general cleaning and confession. How many times I have encountered this verse in this season’s life episode: Therefore this is what the LORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them. (Jer 15:19). I need a spiritual prophylaxis to cleanse my mouth. Matthew 15:11 says: “What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of hismouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’”
Luke 6:45 is a reminder that the root of unworthy words is what we store in our hearts, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
Paul gives us this apt exhortation (notice it only asks us to think about the positive and not the negative: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Phil 4:8)
Lord, apart from your Spirit, I walk my own way and brew negativi-tea. Please wash, renew my mind and heart through your word according to your way. Help me to utter only worthy words that are becoming for your child. Teach me how not to be a negastar in Jesus’s name amen.
SONG: THINK ABOUT IT
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The mind is indeed the seat for transformation.
God declared in Isaiah that He came to set his people free. He wants to set US his people who are captives of different bondages FREE to live our best lives.
But how come many believers CHOOSE to stay with our addiction or bondage of choice?
Believers choose to stay bitter instead of better; we choose to eat or drink our way during our times of struggle and despair; some would choose to dwell on the negative events in their lives in stead of focussing on what is ‘right’ in their lives; yet others would choose to live in denial of their issues and distract themselves with dangerous ‘pleasures’ that momentarily make them feel better.
How many believers would opt to ‘gossip’ about others? How many of us make high-nosed judgements against our perceived digressions, faults and misconduct of others? Isn’t this also if done regularly and with lack of concern for others a kind of bondage among believers?
One trait that clearly differentiate humans from other living things is the ability to consciously make choices in the different aspects of our lives in a highly intellectual manner. Though my dog can choose to take a walk or a nap, he cannot choose to be happy when things are sad. Animals unlike humans act more instinctively.
So the good news is in everything, all of us have choices we can make . Even in the saddest of circumstances, like our heroes of the bible they CHOSE to focus on God’s goodness in stead of focussing on their sometimes appalling situations.
So it’s time for us to pinpoint our bondages of choice (whether consciously or unconsciously) so that we can declare or freedom in Christ Jesus!
This is my self talk everyday!
Since the mind is the seat of transformation, unless our mind is renewed; unless our concept of who God is in our eyes; and who we are in God’s eyes is in the proper perspective, we as believers will fail to experience the abundant lives that were in stored for us since the beginning of time.
To my King of Kings I declare, Nega-star am I no more. I declare my freedom from my bondages of negativity and the like. I was redeemed at the highest price so that I maybe free. Thanks be God our savior and Lord.
I join you in declaring that we will not be Negastars anymore by God’s grace! Indeed, thanks be to our King of Kings, Savior, and Lord!