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.