How is Your Mind Set?
In 1825, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to a friend in which he said, “How much suffering has been caused by all of the evil things that have never happened?” We think they’re going to and we suffer because of it… and it doesn’t happen. This often puts us through a great deal of mental anguish.
God’s Word gives us some solid direction concerning our overall attitude in life. “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken” (Proverbs 15:13).
The Hebrew word here that is translated “sorrow of the heart” can mean depression. Who of us hasn’t been depressed from time to time. Probably all of us have been.
But if that depression hangs on, it can color our whole lives. If you are “afflicted” then everything seems bad. But it you have a merry heart, a positive attitude, things look considerably different. Our outlook and our positivity or negativity can have a profound effect on our entire lives. There are people who have very negative outlooks and they have very difficult lives. These are the people who say: “I will be happy when… I buy a new house.” “I’ll be happy when… I get married.” “I’ll be happy when… I get a new stereo”.
That is a sad way to go through life, really – always not happy because “I’ll be happy when…” and not allowing yourself to be happy in the now.
In Ecclesiastes 6:3 we read: “If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, (in other words, if he does not enjoy those days) and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.”
Always thinking, “Oh, if I only had this. Why did God let this happen to me? If only this had happened.” Or if only something had been different. It’s vanity and it’s vexation of spirit and it’s a pretty miserable way of going through life, really.
A follower of God can certainly be a positive person. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be bad times. That doesn’t mean things won’t go wrong. But the way that we react to those bad times and wrong things in our lives will determine to a very large extent what kind of lives we will have.
God encourages us in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Sometimes we must force ourselves to look for something good! This is a foundational, fundamental attitude that we need to have. This is a positive direction in our entire thought process. It will help us to learn to enjoy even the little things in life.
Following God’s instructions to concentrate on true, honest, pure and lovely things can make all of the difference!
— Cliff Veal