Negative thoughts are like weeds. They grow automatically. What happens when a weed pops up? We certainly don’t water it. We pull it. We only water what we want to grow—grass, flowers, trees, etc. But, when it comes to our thoughts, are we pulling the weeds? Are we aware of what we allow into our mind? If not, we may end up with a negative mindset, which isn’t something we should water.
As I’ve wrestled with my own negative mindset, here’s what I’ve learned: Anything we allow in our minds is either adding value to us or taking it away. So, over the past couple of years, I’ve learned to ditch my negative mindset by carefully screening what TV shows, music, magazines, video games, and other media I consume.
A few weeds don’t seem like much, but left unattended they can take over an entire yard. Negative thoughts work the same way. Left unchecked, they can take over our minds, and eventually, our lives. And if we don’t do anything about it, we’ll wake up negative people.
But there’s good news. The opposite is also true. If we consistently check what we allow in our minds, we can go from a negative mindset to a positive one. Why? Because what we think about, we bring about. If we constantly think about what’s wrong in our lives, we’ll find more things to be negative about. But, if we choose to think about what’s good, right, noble, pure, and praiseworthy, we’ll find it, and we’ll have a better attitude as a result.
There’s a song I love about this idea called “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” It says:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
The lyrics echo Hebrews 12:1-3, which remind us to fix our eyes (and consequently our thoughts) on Jesus. When we do, we find rest. We find peace. We find joy. And we find that our temporary troubles fade away.
Do I still wake up and have bad days? Of course! Do I sometimes find myself with a negative mindset? Absolutely! But, the more I fix my eyes on Jesus and fill my mind with His truth, the less likely I am to be overly negative, critical, or cynical that day.
Paul reminded us about this power when he said:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV
It’s possible to ditch our negative mindsets. But not in our own power. When we fix our eyes on Jesus and renew our minds with His living, unchanging truth, we’ll be transformed.
So, big question: What thoughts are you watering?
P.S: One of the best tools you can find to ditch your negative mindset is Pastor Craig’s new book, Winning the War in Your Mind. Find it here.