Friday, September 6, 2013

Negativity Part 1

Now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8)

*These devotions are out of a book (I'll post the book hopefully today) so the story's that are shared are from the lady's that wrote the book*

On a recent missions trip, Gina (not her real name) was the resident drama queen. She complained when her team didn't have time for a sit-down meal in the airport. Then, she verbalized her stress again and again about how nervous she was about missing the flight. When the team decided to shop for a while, she told everyone they had to go to the gate. On and on and on the negativity went, and the teens hadn't even left the United States yet. She drained the life right out of the team, and no one wanted to spend time with her.
There is so much to be positive about, though if we spend to much time focusing on the drama of our circumstances, we might miss this fact. Paul's words are refreshingly positive. As long as something, anything...whatever floats our boat...passes the litmus test of being excellent and worthy of praise when held up to the light of God's truth, Paul exhorts us to think on these things. Not focus on what could go wrong or what is wrong with something, anything.
The only time a negative comment is needed is when you are saying passes Paul's test. And here's the test:
  • Is what you are saying true?
  • Is it honorable?
  • Is what you are saying right?
  • Are your motives pure?
  • Are you acting in a lovely manner?
  • Is this criticism admirable?
 By asking yourself if what you're saying passes this test, you'll be more positive. For example, there's no need to complain about missing a flight until you are less than fifteen minutes away from departure nowhere near the gate. Until then, what you are saying isn't true!

Action Plan
Which of the above questions do you need to work on the most? Spend a day thinking about all six, and select one to work on over the next week.

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