Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Think Happy Thoughts!

Despite Philippians 4:8 telling me to fill my mind with every good and kind and agreeable thought, my mind was meditating on the opposite. And do you know what happens when this way of thinking takes over? It turns us into complainers! Here's why:
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45.
Once our hearts are at full capacity with mischievious thoughts, like a volcano packed with molten juices, they gotta blow --- and the flow of complaining thoughts and attitudes grow. In Hawaii I watched fresh, red-hot molten lava roll down into the sea, causing great steam to rise high in the air, and below, an island was being enlarged. Negative thinking enlarges our ability to complain and pushes out the ocean of good things we could chose to think about.
Gosh, and that word 'abundance' in that verse is really getting me. One of Dictionary.com's definitions is "overflowing fullness." I knew it! Having an abundance of negative, unhappy thoughts hanging around is a sure sign of heart disease. I admit that it has attacked me! I have all the symptoms - times of depression, lack of zest, unhappy, lava-flow of complaint spurting out of my mouth...
Happy news - there is a cure! :)
It's time for me (and you???) to play The Glad Game! Did you ever see Disney's delightful movie Pollyanna? In it she plays this game where she always looks at the good side of things. For instance, one day the mission box arrived and instead of the desire of her heart - a doll - being inside, she reached in and pulled out crutches. Crutches?! Sensing his beloved daughter's disapointment, her dad gently instructed her in the ways of possessing a happy, positive mindset by pointing her thoughts to the happy side of the situation -- that they were healthy and didn't need to use crutches. See? Happy thoughts to be glad about! No moping for Pollyanna!
It's a learned process; just as complaining is. We have choices to make concerning our thoughts and actions and words...all day long. Linda Dillow, author of Calm My Anxious Heart (which is about learning contentment) says, "What we are on the inside, what we continually think about, eventually shows in our words, actions, and even our countenances."
If you go here http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw_0_7?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=calm+my+anxious+heart&sprefix=calm+my , Amazon.com will let you read a lot of the first chapter. You'll want to be privy to Meredith's secrets to contentment, found on those free pages. It is worth your time!
All of this just goes to prove, once again and for always, that God's Word is true! What is on the heart, will eventually pop out of the mouth. Let's be full of it --- His truth and happy thoughts!


Anonymous said...

God never called us to play the The Glad Game, or any game. Pollyanna is a movie, not reality. We apply scripture to the realities of life. And the reality of life is that it's sometimes filled with hurt, pain and inequity. God wants us to weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice. We're called to be His disciple and He never said it would be easy. Why the need to be "happy"? Happiness is a result of having lunch with a friend, buying new shoes, or hearing a child laugh. It's fleeting and temporary. God has called us to inner joy that isn't affected by the circumstances of life. Sometimes we ARE complainers. Does God love us less? He shows us the root of the problem and comes alongside us to resolve it for His glory.
Take The Glad Game and Pollyanna for what they are: fantasy. If only life was so easy - "Turn that frown upside down!" doesn't necessarily reflect a genuine, deep peace within. Joy within does.

an encourager said...

Amen, Sistah!! We are promised trials and tribulations, all with the assuring comfort that Jesus has overcome the world. And He is the reason why I have learned through heartbreak that joy and pain can become peaceful neighbors in a person's heart.

What the Lord was gently revealing to me was that I had become a displeasing complainer, focusing only on the bad and not the good. Not only was it making me miserable, but the more I dwelled on the negative, the more discontent I was becoming.

The reason I used Pollyanna as an example (beside the fact that I love that old movie and that in it she was teaching that there is a good side to everything)is because when I was college-age my friends used to tease me by calling me "Pollyanna". At that time, no matter what someone did or said, no matter what the circumstance, looking at the good was as automatic for me as the sun coming up, and I would readily verbalize the 'silver lining' that I saw.

And now... I was speeding along to the complete opposite of that attitude. The Lord is making me aware that I'd grown a bit cynical and negative (ugh, sadly, it was hard to admit I am now negative).

So, I'm happily in process. For me, that silly Glad Game is a great visual reminder of the truth that it glorifies God and strengthens our faith in Him when we take an undesirable situation and turn it around with thanks and hope. It reminds me of Numbers 13-14. Of all the spies sent to scope out the Promised Land, only Joshua and Caleb came back with "happy" news. The rest had seen a reality without the reality of God, reported the negative news, and brought Israel down...into complaining and rebellion.

Anyhoo, because I had grown so negative and miserable, I just felt happy that the Lord loves me enough to pay attention to me and wants to continually transform me into the image of His Son. I hope this better explains what what I was trying to get across in the blog.

Job 5:17-18 -- "Behold, happy [is] the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole."

P.S. I just learned this morning that the word 'happy' (which the KJV also uses) is a Hebrew word that means: "happiness;how happy!; blessed; happy." Isn't that fun?! And it's the same Hebrew word (835 in concordance) used in one of my favorite verses, Psalm 33:12 --"Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD..."

Thanks for writing to me; I like it!