Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – How to Break Free from Negative Thinking

In everything give thanks.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Happy Thursday, I mean Wednesday.  Has this ever happened you?  I have been off from work since last Thursday and I’ve mixed up my days.  This is my last day of vacation.  Wow!  It’s amazing how fast the time has passed, but maybe it’s time for me to get back into my routine.  It’s not Forgiveness Thursday yet, but it’s still a great time to forgive others and yourself.

This morning my daughter sent me an amazing video about being stuck in the negative.  Alison Ledgerwood from the Psychology Department at U. C. Davis provided a brief discussion on her research about how people respond to positive and negative situations (https://youtu.be/7XFLTDQ4JMk).  I encourage you to take a look at her presentation.  Ms. Ledgerwood pointed out that when something good happens, people in general tend to be happy for a brief time.  However, when something negative happens, our mood shifts down and doesn’t come back as quickly.  Even when something good happens after the negative, we just don’t snap back right away.  It is in our nature to behave this way.  Ms. Ledgerwood goes on to explain ways we can retrain our brains to think positive.

So, I’m watching this amazing talk with my husband and he says “that’s nice but that’s not new information.”  I replied “what do you mean?” He simply stated “the Bible tells us to forgive and be thankful.”

He’s right.  The Bible provides a two-part process for retraining our brains.  First, we are supposed to forgive.  Luke 6:37 states “[f]orgive and you will be forgiven.”  According to Ephesians 4:31-32 we should “[g]et rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior . . . [and instead] . . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven” us.  Colossians 3:13 instructs us that we should “forgive as the Lord” has forgiven us.

Then, the second step is to be thankful.  First Thessalonians 5:13-18 teaches us to “in everything give thanks . . . with a grateful heart.”  Psalms 13:6 instructs us to “give thanks to the Lord, for he is good . . . [and] . . . his steadfast love endures forever.”  It is true that when we have a forgiving heart and focus on our blessings, we are retraining our brains to move out of the negative.

Throughout this brain retraining process we can also ask God for help at anytime.  In fact, I ask for help every time, because  I know that “every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17).

I encourage you today and every day to retrain your brain Gods way. God bless you.

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