Overcoming Negative Thoughts

Rock Climbing

Why is it easier to choose the negative over the positive? I believe it boils down to pride. You may disagree, but I challenge you to dig deep and think about some of the biggest disappointments in your life. What made your circumstances so disappointing? If you’re honest with yourself, it’s because things didn’t turn out the way you thought they should. Usually when that happens we make an inner vow to ourselves that we will never allow ourselves to be disappointed again. This is a recipe for disaster, because we will hold onto that promise with our whole being and consistently make choices that will prove “we were right”. Our need to be right will keep us stuck in self-destructive patterns until we make a choice to admit that we may be wrong.

In my childhood, I was betrayed by the people that most of us assume should have our best interests at heart. At the time, I made a vow to myself that I would never again trust another human being. This created chaos in my life, because we were not created to live our lives by ourselves. I spent most of my life seeking to prove that no one was worthy of my trust, and I got what I asked for. Most of us have been betrayed in one way or another in our life and it becomes very easy to decide not to trust others.

I look to one of my favorite characters in the Bible for an example of how we should deal with betrayal. Joseph’s story is an inspiration to me because he chose to trust in God and not hold bitterness in his heart toward anyone. He had plenty of opportunity to become angry and resentful toward others; at any time in his life he could’ve chosen to hold onto evidence to prove that he couldn’t trust anyone.

  1.  His father made him a target by showing obvious favoritism toward him and this gave his brothers a reason to dislike him.
  2.  His brothers decided to kill him, but instead sold him into slavery.
  3.  God showed him favor as a slave because of his attitude and he was betrayed by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison.
  4. While in prison he maintained the proper attitude and was betrayed by the cup bearer, who forgot him after he was reinstated to his position in Pharaoh’s Court.

After all this betrayal he was taken out of prison and given a position of authority in the house of Pharaoh. Then he was put in a position to get even with his brothers for their betrayal years earlier, but he chose to walk in forgiveness and bless them instead. He received many blessings in his life, because he chose to maintain a positive outlook on his life no matter what the circumstances looked like. Does anyone of us have an excuse for holding onto our pride and seeking to be right after looking at this shining example?

Will you choose to lay down your need to be right today?

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