This Sunday, November 20th, 2016, Pastor Duane White continued our series REthink, here at The Bridge Church in Denton, Texas.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2, NKJV)
Have you ever noticed that it seems harder to stay positive than it does to be negative?
“In life, two negatives don’t make a positive. Double negatives turn positive only in math and formal logic.” – Robert McKee.
Are we hardwired to be positive or negative? Scientists say that we have a natural negativity bias.
The Negativity Bias: Things of a more negative nature (e.g. unpleasant thoughts, emotions, or social interactions; harmful/traumatic events) have a greater effect on one’s psychological state and processes than do neutral or positive things.
In our brains, there are two different systems for how we process negative and positive stimuli. The part that processes emotions uses approximately two thirds of its neurons to detect negative experiences and stores them into long-term memory quickly. On the other hand, positive experiences have to be held in our awareness for more than 12 seconds in order to be transfered from short-term to long-term memory.
“The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.” – Rick Hanson
We were created to dream, create, imagine, and be overwhelmingly positive in the image of our maker. The enemy of our soul comes to steal, kill and destroy us, and one of his best tools is negativity. But 1 Corinthians says we have the mind of Christ, and His mind is not a negative mind.
With the facts of how our brains are naturally drawn to negatives, we know the importance of focusing our thoughts on truth. It’s time to REthink our approach to counteracting the negative.
Here are three tools to assist you in overcoming the negativity bias:
- Maintain an attitude of gratitude.
- Never underestimate the power of praise.
- Learn how to count like God.
Here are a few ideas to help you with negative thinking:
- Stop to say “thank you” to someone at the top of every hour of the day.
- Keep a journal of things for which you’re grateful.
- When any negative thought or worry comes to mind, immediately thank God for the promise.
- Insert small pleasant, positive experiences throughout your day, instead of only waiting for the weekend, vacations or special occassions.
“Praise small things frequently rather than big things infrequently.”(Dan Rockwell)
We tend to think giving thanks is this cute little obligatory thing that we should do. But giving thanks is a powerful tool that not only helps those around us, but transforms me to be more like the person I was created to be. Never underestimate the power of praise.
“As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” (Psalm 71:14)
God thinks we can, but what do we think about what God thinks? That is what becomes our reality. What are your thoughts adding up to? God’s truth, or your present reality?
It’s time to make up your mind. Will you agree with God’s truth, or continue to argue and count your excuses? Only you have the power to decide. Your decision is your destiny. The choice is yours. You can do all things through Christ who give you the strength.
“In one of the worst trials of his life, Paul “counted” his experience as a happy one (fortunate), because it was helping him be obedient to the heavenly vision.” (Acts 26:19)
What things could you count as happy if you saw them as obedience to God’s call?
To learn more on how to transform your negative thoughts into positive thoughts, watch the full message here:
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