Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
Negative thinking can get you down. This world is filled with it. Every day we are bombarded by all the horrible things happening in the world. The news (and maybe our families and friends) drenches us daily with things that are wrong. Unfortunately, when we dwell on the negative, it influences and colors our whole lives. It makes losers out of winners; whiners out of victors.
Granted, there are many bad things that push us toward discouragement and defeat, but thinking negative only makes things worse. The secret is to think correctly, accurately, or to base our thoughts in reality. This is what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “Therefore we do not lose heart…while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen” (2 Corinthians 4:16, 18).
It is better if you read the context of those verses. I know that Paul is contrasting blessed eternal matters to negative events in this world, but there is another principle involved too.
He is teaching that all is not bad, but to look at the whole picture of reality. In the whole of reality there is also good. Consequently, it is to your benefit to look for the good possibilities in any difficulty you find yourself.
Esmie and I just got back from two weeks in the Philippines. In the midst of the thick, smelly traffic in Manila, there are the nimble vendors darting among the cars, motorcycles, Jeepneys, and trucks selling newspapers, bottled water, peanuts, and other things. It is like a grocery store in the middle of the street! Of course, around the hotels, the popular item seems to be Viagra or Cialis!
There are several ways of looking at those people and the dense tangle of smog belching honking cars. You can look at it and say, “Oh my, what pitiful people and terrible traffic. I wish I were in Boracay.”
But, those vendors look at things differently. They say to themselves, “I’m hungry. How can I feed myself and my family? Oh, there are many cars on that busy street, and they carry people who have money. What an opportunity! I can sell them something, and then go buy food!”
Actually, I admire those street vendors. They have the grit and gumption to make the best out of very bleak circumstances. You can too. Look for the good. Look for the opportunity. Look for the positive. Take action. You can do it. Yes, you can.
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