"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse." - Philippians 4:8 MSG
Thoughts for Today
Negative thinking can distract us from remembering God's goodness and from building an intimate relationship with him.
We live in a culture of complaining. We look for ways to get things off our chests. Talk shows are flooded with callers eager to share their displeasure about something. Complaining may seem harmless, sometimes even therapeutic. However, it causes impatience, which reinforces negative attitudes and can lead to a self-focused life.
We all go through difficult times, but God doesn't want us to focus on the negative. He knows that chronic complaining will never help us and will ultimately harm us. Instead, God calls us to rejoice! To focus our minds on the good, the positive, the praiseworthy. To give thanks in all circumstances and to focus on his love.
Consider this …
Joseph never complained when he was betrayed by his brothers, put into slavery and unjustly imprisoned. The apostle Paul maintained a good attitude when he was beaten and imprisoned. Both men had an intimate relationship with God and wanted more than anything to please him.
The next time you start to complain … take a deep breath and refocus on Jesus.
Father, sometimes I get sidetracked and focus on the worst—in me, in others and in my circumstances. Please forgive me and help me to refocus on the best—in me, in others, in my circumstances. And most of all, help me to focus on your love and grace and on Jesus, my Savior. In his name …
These thoughts were drawn from …A Passionate Pursuit of God: Drawing Nearer to Him by Dr. Mike Chapman. This study teaches participant how to move into God's inner circle, how to listen for the voice of God, how to enjoy the freedom of worship, and how to embrace the mission of worship. This 45-minute format will accommodate groups with limited meeting times. 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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