Rev. Larry Blaikie: Waging war on negative thinking

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Have you ever bought a new car, or even bought a used car, and then suddenly noticed they are everywhere?

Our minds work like that— they are selective and focused.

In the psychology world, it is called “frequency illusion” and includes two elements: selective attention and confirmation bias.

Our mind often sees what we want it to see, even though nothing has changed— and without meaning to, we reward our minds for doing so. The real problem is we tend to do that in other areas of our lives, such as low self-esteem or low self-worth.

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It is possible to program ourselves to seek out comments we interpret as negative, even when there is nothing there. It might be what they say or don’t say, it might be what they do or don’t do. It might be if they laugh or don’t laugh at something you say.

If we programed our minds to look for the negative things in life, you will not only find them when they are really there, you will find them everywhere even though they’re not there.

What we choose to think about is incredibly important to the health of our minds.

It is so easy to miss how much God loves us. We are his creation. It was God’s plan all along, at the right time, to send his one and only son so that whoever believes in him and calls upon his name, be filled with God’s spirit and know they have eternal life.

Scripture gives us the answer to this problem of negative thinking and negative bias. It is so simple, but yet considering how many people this affects, it is very profound.

The answer is in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Replace the negative filter with positive ones. Choose to think on things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. Choose to focus on the positive and you will begin to find it everywhere such as your co-workers, your friends and family, your children.

Focus on the positive and look for the good, give out compliments instead of just noticing faults.

So declare war on negative thinking. Remember if you change the way you think, you can change the way you feel.

Last point to ponder: you can’t be pouting while you’re simultaneously praising God.

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