The Power of Positive Thinking

Before you tune this out, I want you to take time to read this carefully. My conservative Christian friends may be thinking that I am going off into a feel-good, euphoric, and potentially unbiblical direction. On the surface, one could easily arrive to this conclusion. I understand why.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale wrote a book by this title. It began a revolution of thought within some Christian circles that has become downright unrealistic. Other well-known pastors and religious personalities like Robert Schuller and Joel Osteen took this same approach to ministry. I want to take a balanced, biblical approach to this.

I want to begin with this verse. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” What is this verse saying? It is a command to meditate upon things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. These are positive things. Therefore, Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is telling believers to meditate on positive things in contrast to evil or negative things. What is wrong with that? Nothing!!!

Let’s take a slightly different look at this. Joshua 1:8 says,
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Here is where the balance kicks in. If you think about it for a minute, not everything in the Bible is positive from the world’s perspective. From God’s perspective, the things in the Bible that are considered negative are used to get a positive result. The stories of disobedience are for our good to show us that disobedience yields bad consequences, but obedience yields positive results.

What is the takeaway from this? When we focus on God’s truth (positive thinking), there is power in that. When we focus on things contrary to the nature of God, we go down a path of destruction. Don’t feed the flesh! Feed your spirit, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit will abound in your life.

20 thoughts on “The Power of Positive Thinking

  1. I find that if I focus on the pure, noble, true, just, praiseworthy, lovely, of virtue, I really don’t have time to look for negative things in others. The Spirit teaches me what I am to learn and it is a blessing. Great article!

  2. I so agree. Why waste time on the negative that only serves to bring your spirits down.. no thank you. I agree with Linda, focusing on the positive outweighs the negative.

    Wonderful reminder, thank you. God bless you and yours richly.

  3. Nailed it! When you think about it, faith, as defined in Hebrews, is positive thinking in a nutshell. Who hopes for negative things? And how could the patriarchs fulfill their call, better yet, be mentioned here, if their actions (obedience) had not been driven by trusting that God had a perfect plan? Hence, positive thinking. Thank you, Matt. Great post!

  4. My takeaway from this is that we could spend our time ‘meditating’ on positive things, really pondering these things as if we were wholly investing ourselves into these truths. If we were to do that, the fruit of the True Vine would grow in us and we would be unstoppable.

  5. Thanks Brother, I’d been asking the Spirit to clarify these things. I’ve heard a lot of “name it and claim it” types of things lately, also we have not because we ask not; when we ask, we’re not doing it in faith so we’re not getting. I was just told Jesus never named the disease; He just said “your faith has made you well; made you whole”, or “I am willing; be healed/be cleansed” A lot of people are saying we have to name the spirit of infirmity and specify; give name to the infirmity/disease in order to tell it to go. Forgive me if my musings are not quite making sense; I’ll have to seek more clarity from the Spirit.

  6. Great post, Matthew. And a perfect interpretation of where our thoughts should be opposed to the way society (and unfortunately, some Christian pastors) believes we should think.

  7. interesting post… and truly its surprising to see some Christians of this age/generation think that self-positive-thinking and self-faith are unbiblical, but we may have to ask why Jesus said all things are possible to them that believe —“recall: them that believe”… also the scripture says somewhere that as we think so we are…”guard your hearts”, etc… the thing is that the onus of being positive lies with each man, whether a Christian or not… its good to believe in God but we must go a step forward and think positively and have faith to please him (Hebrews 11:6)…its displeasing to God if we think negatively

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