“With thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Php 4:6 NIV
It happens so easily, especially in the company of the wrong people. Before you know it, you’re criticizing and complaining, and the atmosphere becomes negative. That’s because words are like clouds or sunshine; they create a climate. You say, “But I only say these things because I’m so worried.” Then read this: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds” (Phil 4:6-7 NIV). You rise above anxiety by giving thanks, not by complaining. Never let your level of thanksgiving be determined by your situation, because God is greater than any situation you face.
So how can you overcome your inclination to be negative, and instead develop a positive, faith-filled outlook?
(1) Decide to. Abraham Lincoln told the truth when he said, “Most folks are as happy as they make up their mind to be.” Refuse to spend another moment criticizing and complaining.
(2) Start now. Change doesn’t come easily, but unless you make a start it won’t come at all. Try to be more aware of what you say. Catch yourself in the act! When your first few sentences are negative, self-correct and steer the conversation back toward what’s positive. Resolve that from now on if you can’t say something helpful, you’ll refrain from saying anything at all.
(3) Look for what’s good. “Whatever is true…noble…right…pure…lovely…admirable… think about such things” (Php 4:8 NIV).
Make this your prayer: “Lord, give me a positive, faith-filled outlook.”