Ask those stray thoughts that border on the negative:
"Is this true?"
When someone asks us how we feel, we often use words such as good, fine, happy, sad, confused, angry, anxious, afraid, brave, nervous and so on. These are adjectives. They describes a noun or pronoun. They describe us.
So what is true?
It's also an adjective. Here are some of the definitions of true: (source)
- agreeing with the facts; not false
- real or genuine
- having all the expected or necessary qualities of a specified person or thing
- steadfast; loyal
- honest; just
- being that which is the case rather than what is manifest or assumed.
The Greek meaning of that word true in the scripture above actually comes from two words, one being a negative (oddly), the other meaning hidden, ignorant (unwittingly). Put the two words together and it means not hidden, not ignorant.
Now that we've identified the triggers, the causes and the effects of negative thinking, it's time to start thinking the opposite-not so much "positive" thinking, but that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.
Think on these things and you will be thinking positively!
When an errant thought comes into your head, whether it has to do with you, someone else, or a situation (which inevitably involves others), ask yourself, "Is this true?"
Sometimes I'll be listening to someone talk, and I'll think, This person's annoying. I wish she'd shut up and let me talk.
Okay, so now you know I'm far from "holy." (Just in case you were wondering)
Is that my opinion or is that a fact? Is it the case, or assumed? It's my opinion, because annoying is really a vague and gray area. There is no fact or truth in "annoying." AND...just maybe someone thinks that about me when I can't seem to shut up.
Or I may mess up at work and think, Oh I'm so stupid. Is that a fact? No. I'm not stupid. I just feel stupid. I messed up. Everyone does. If I allow myself to, I will dwell on that and before I know it, I've slipped into negativity and sadness.
Instead of wallowing in stupidity, I am told in Philippians 4:8 to think on what is true.
It's a simple matter of choosing different adjectives.
We need to learn to replace those words we use to describe ourselves and others, not so much with "positive" words, but with true words. And hopefully, they will be positive ones as well! If they aren't, try to say something positive until it becomes true.
Blessings Along the Path,