Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. - Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV)
The above verse is not an easy mindset to have. It doesn't come naturally and it takes work to focus our minds to think about such things. Paul is admonishing us to train our minds to think the best in all situations, especially when it comes to other people. If you are like me, and since you are also human I know you are, our natural tendency is to believe the worst about people. Our minds automatically lean towards the opposite of the mind of Christ. That is why we must work hard to go against what comes natural to us and train our minds to think like Jesus.
As a pastor I talk to a lot of people on a weekly basis and much of what I hear people saying is not very positive. I have discovered that the people who are unhappy with life tend to be Negative about everything. They have very little positive things to say about anybody and anything. Is it any wonder? When we allow ourselves to focus on the negative we remove ourselves from the peace of God. It is impossible to grab hold of peace when we are holding on to negativity. It is impossible to be at peace when we are complaining. It's simply really. Do you want peace? Then think like Jesus.
Another important ingredient to living like this is we can't afford to spend time with complainers. We all know people who do nothing but complain. They never have anything positive to say. We would do well to have nothing to do with such people. They will only drag us down into their pit of despair with them. We don't have to be rude, just politely refuse their company. Their attitude is like poison that will infect our spirits and pollute our minds making it impossible to follow Paul's admonition in Philippians 4. The Lord has been challenging me to make a concerted effort to eliminate the negative influence of complainers in my life. I would encourage you to do the same.
Here are a few questions we need to ask ourselves. Do you feel at times that people are avoiding you? Perhaps that is a sign that you are a complainer. Do you lack a sense of peace in your life? Perhaps that is a sign telling you that you are a complainer. It is time to make a change in your thinking process. It is time to refocus your mind and determine to think the best in every situation and think the best about every person. And one final thing - don't spend time with complainers. You can't afford it.
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