When I was young, my father used to say that your attitude was so important. He would say, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” This comes from the Bible verse Proverbs 23:7.
Once I became a teacher, I would encourage my students to have the right thinking about whatever was getting them down. For instance, one day, my young student was entering my classroom. He had just gotten to school, and I could tell he was upset.
In fact, he told me that the day was going to be a terrible day. Allow me to paint the picture. It was test day. It was also raining, so the situation added to his mood.
Meanwhile, my student even chose to use the weather as further proof that the day would be a bad one. Still, I reminded him, like I do all of my students, that our attitude can help make bad situations much better. Unconvinced, my little 5th grader proceeded to sigh and walk away.
Later that day, he came to me smiling and said, “You were right.” He was so excited. My response was, “This is what happens, when you try to have a positive attitude.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not always walking on a cloud or a ray of sunshine. Like my student, I have my moments of despair. Yet, my relationship with the Lord allows me to come out of my despair by leaning on Him.
I share that sweet story with you, because my student was so amazed by the power of changing his attitude. In the body of Christ, we often learn that life is not always that simple. You see, we can’t always control our thoughts or change them by wanting to do so.
In Ephesians 6:17, the Bible tells us to “Let God’s saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God’s message that comes from the Spirit.” What is this verse telling us? It is reminding us that we cannot protect our thoughts on our own.
Though we can use “positive thinking” or believe things will be okay, eventually, we will run out of reasons to stay positive. We will soon be reminded of our situation and become upset. Being human, this can and will happen.
Even so, we must not stay there. We must turn inward to our Spirit and find peace. This peace only comes from knowing what God’s Word says about our situation.
Now, as the verse mentioned earlier, this can only be achieved through a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can help us to have the right attitude. “The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile” (Psalm 94:11). Because of this, we must do what Philippians 4:9 tells us to do.
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me, put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”