Negatives and Positives
"Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 NLT
Thoughts for Today
Many of our character traits can be used in negative ways or in positive ways. We can use them in a worldly way or a godly way. Self-centered or God—and others-centered. Unloving or loving. With this in mind, let's have a look at the trait of perfectionism.
Negative (Seems natural, makes life hard)
I tend to focus on judging and criticizing what is wrong with me and others more than on what is right and positive.
Positive (Seems hard, makes life good)
I choose to focus on loving what is right and good about myself, others, and life rather than dwelling on what I view as wrong.
Consider this …
Most of us can probably see ourselves in both of these categories. With some people, in some situations, we are critical and judgmental—with others and with ourselves. We complain. And then there are those perfect moments when we focus on the good.
Today's scripture urges us to focus on the positive. Now, God doesn't want us to ignore sin in our life—we need to ask forgiveness and turn from every sin. But He wants us to see ourselves—and others—as He does. When we have received Jesus as Savior, we are cleansed, clothed in His righteousness. And He has blessed each of us with our own unique gifts and talents. He wants us to focus on the positive. The blessings, not the problems. His strength, not our weakness. Others' virtues, not their faults. Doing this may seem hard—but it makes life good.
Father, forgive me for all the times I'm hard on others and myself—judgmental and critical. Forgive me for all my complaints. Help me to focus on God's blessings and on what is good about others and myself. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …
Where is the Image of God in You? by Brad Rymer. The purpose of this study is for us to see how some of the different character traits we have can be used in constructive rather than destructive ways in our lives and relationships so that we are operating more and more in the image of God according to the way He created us. Also, this study can help us better understand others as we build godly relationships. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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