Disarming This Crazy WorldPosted January 19th, 2010
by Janet Perez Eckles
We all—whatever our age—approach life with goals that are, in some ways, similar. However, few fully understand the most important tool that will define success or failure: the power of our thoughts. Each morning, thoughts we choose to have can alter a mood, provide a different outlook, or rearrange priorities.
The thoughts you entertain determine the words you say. Those words, in turn, determine the attitude you embrace, thus formulating your habits. Those habits mold your character. Before you know it, your character reflects before the world an example of triumph or failure. And it all begins with thoughts.
Because of their impact, thoughts need to be sorted. Among the endless number of reflections that swirl in our mind, here are some examples: We can entertain either thoughts of gloom, because of the circumstances, or thoughts of the goodness of God; thoughts of our shortcomings or of the strength we have in Christ; thoughts of the complicated present or thoughts of the comfort He promises during each trial.
This writer’s tomorrows could have been filled with sorrow. “That’s a terrible thing—to be totally blind,” folks whispered after I lost my sight. Had I let those reflections invade my heart, I could have drowned in self-pity. Instead, I hurled a rope around those thoughts and tossed them out. Then I clung to those which shone with optimism, hope, and encouragement. Not surprisingly, the results painted a vibrant hue into my world.
If you are wondering how to achieve a positive spirit, here’s good news. God created us with the ability to control what fills our minds. He assigned this homework: “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” (Philippians 4:8, NIV).
The problem is, the world is filled with whatever is sad, bizarre, or shocking. Nightly news echoes this over and over again. No wonder despair has become a common disease.
But the cure begins in the mind. When we are feeling confused, God brings clarity with the truth of His Word. When others deceive us, His love—pure and noble—heals our wounds. When the world turns ugly, painful, and hard, His compassion brings a lovely comfort to our days. When unfair lashes sting, His praiseworthy justice fights battles we cannot. And when sin slithers into our lives, His divine forgiveness responds to our repentance.
If you’re like most who battle with worry, anxiety, and fear—all nourished with negative thoughts—“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13, NIV).
The Holy Spirit’s power, incomparable and available to all, provides the ability to battle against destructive thoughts. Even when painful situations seem unchanged and conflicts simmer still, choosing to ponder what God provides brings back optimism. And in turn, with a positive attitude, we can savor what’s true, lovely, and honorable.
What comfort it is to know that we have a helper and a wise teacher: the Holy Spirit. He provides us with the wisdom to choose thoughts, to cleanse the soul, to defuse personal struggles, to bring a smile to the heart, and to disarm the negative impact of this crazy world.
Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker, writer, Spanish interpreter and author. Her stories appear in twelve books including Chicken Soup for the Soul and Guideposts. Her own inspirational book, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life, offers uplifting reflections and practical insights for triumphing over tough times. Visit Janet online at www.janetperezeckles.com.