Before I even got out of bed one morning, I could tell my attitude stunk. I didn’t sleep well at all and I was already dreading the day. Then a very clear thought broke into my groggy brain:
Your attitude reveals your focus.
My poor thinking was already taking me down a path of negativity. However, I felt this shot of clarity was God’s lifeline to help me course-correct before I went too far. Sometimes when things are put so black and white, I don’t really appreciate it. I want to think that some things are more complicated than that. But I couldn’t shake the thought: Your attitude reveals your focus, reveals what you’re thinking about and dwelling on. So I saw my choice was clear: I could keep going down the negative thoughts path (sometimes what I call “reality”) and have a terrible attitude and day. Or I could pull my thoughts up out of the gutter and choose to think differently about my circumstances.
If you want to change your attitude change what you’re thinking about.
I’m not just talking about the power of positive thinking. I’m talking about rehearsing the truth instead of a lie. Life is hard and I don’t think you and I have to deny the reality of a situation. However, we can benefit so much more from looking at the positives than we can from rehearsing the negatives over and over.
Sometimes its hard to pinpoint the lie I’m believing or mulling over in my mind. But I’m catching on that if my attitude stinks, then there’s something going on. A bad attitude and/or a negative attitude are definite signs of troublesome thoughts. So what do we do?
Know what your triggers are and be on your guard.
What prompts negative thoughts or attitudes for you? Here are some of my triggers. I’ve noticed that my attitude heads south whenever I feel backed into a corner. My to-do list is too long and I don’t feel that I have a choice about it. The truth is that we choose – lots of times a day. I do not have to respond to every request. I am not meant to solve every problem that presents itself.
I’ve also noticed that if I’m overly tired, then my attitude is easily negative. Rest is an important part that is meant to be built into every believer’s life. Find things that refresh you, things that make you feel good and give you energy.
Since our thoughts determine the course of our lives, how can we be on our guard against all the lies and negativity?
Revealing the lie.
Changing our attitudes is about changing our thoughts. How do we do this? In order to change our thinking, we have to start recognizing where it’s gone awry. If our attitude is less than desirable, it shows some deficiencies in our thinking. Sometimes it’s easier than others to identify the lie.
When I need help identifying the lie, I ask some questions:
- Why am I feeling this way?
- Was there a specific thing that triggered this shift in attitude or focus?
- What does God say about this?
When it feels more like a dark cloud trying to settle over me than a specific lie, I’m reminded of this truth:
Satan wants me focused on my feelings. God wants me focused on the truth.
If there’s been a wound, Satan wants to replay the hurt over and over. God doesn’t ask us to deny the truth of what has happened, however, He calls us to see the events in light of what He can do through them and in us (Romans 8:28).
Ask God to help you pinpoint the lie(s) that are plaguing you. He loves to help His children and He will help you.
Rehearsing the Truth.
Let’s call it a Truth-filter. This is something you and I will need every day for the rest of our lives. God gave us His Word – The Truth – so that we could know it and be free from the lies that hold us captive. “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” – JesusDon’t think you’re believing any lies? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them. As long as we walk this earth, we will not be perfect, neither will anyone else. So there’s a good chance that through childhood, tragic events, and disappointments, you and I have picked up some lies along the way. Some lies are so deep and ingrained they are hard for us to recognize.
Feelings cannot be the determining factor, only truth. Until feelings are confronted with truth, feelings will continue to dominate and chaos will reign.-Dr. Robert White
This is why we need a truth-filter in place. God’s word is powerful! It really works because it is His Word. When we choose to believe God instead of our feelings – this is faith in action! Following our feelings will lead us astray “wide is the path of destruction”. Having faith in His Word will keep us on the narrow path to life.
We were not created for destruction. God created us to love us. He has given us the tools we need for a full and abundant life here and now.
Don’t fall for Satan’s lie that you cannot understand the Bible. Why would God go to supernatural lengths to give us His Word, and then make it difficult for us to understand?Robby Galatty
Start each day with the Truth. Whenever you see the clouds rolling in, rehearse the truth. Write down some rock-solid affirmations about God, your situation, and yourself. The bible is full of very great and precious promises (2 Pet 1:4). Rehearse them as often as necessary.
God’s word brings healing – Psalm 107:20
Reveling in the hope that is ours.
I’m not one to deny reality. We all walk through valleys, crushing circumstances and terribly difficult situations. There are parts of life that are beyond our control and our understanding. But this anchor holds my soul: My God is in complete control over everything that comes my way.
If He has allowed it, it will be for my good. He’s either removing something (like a lie) or revealing something (a precious nugget of truth). There are times where all of our other support systems (coping mechanisms) are taken away. We don’t realize how much we rely on these things until they are no longer there. It is in times like these that God wants to show us that He’s in charge and that He will care for us.
The Truth is a glorious thing. That’s why the enemy of our souls fights so hard to keep our eyes off the truth.
Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things, let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.Psalm 107:43
We are helped when we focus on His steadfast love for us. His love does not change with our circumstances. It is as constant as it has always been. Lock your eyes on the Truth. Stand firm on the Truth. He is a sure foundation.