Have the difficulties of life caused your attitude to sink? Have the painful circumstances you're facing caused your faith to sink?
Trust me friend, I get it, just as I explained in today's Proverbs 31 devotion called "Don't Let A Bad Attitude Rule Your Life." No matter how much we love Jesus or how much we try to walk in His peace, life can make it hard to stay positive. When circumstances are difficult, fears overwhelm, hearts are broken or anger is simmering, our thoughts begin to sink, and over time, our attitudes sink too. Even worse is that eventually our faith might start sinking as well, and before we know it, we're not only feeling disconnected from God, but we've got a bad case of bad attitude and can't figure out how to break free from it.
Why do we do that? Why do we allow the hardships of life to weigh down our hearts and minds so much so that we get grumpy, sour, negative and sinking in our faith?
The reason why is simply that we're human. God gave us the free will to choose how we think, act and feel and sometimes we forget to intentionally think, act and feel in ways that are pleasing to Christ. As a result, negative thoughts and emotions can easily get the better of us if we're not actively controlling our own thoughts. We inadvertently let the enemy steal our peace. We let people destroy our hearts and tear down our self-esteem. We let life chisel away at our joy and chain us to an anchor of negativity that pulls us deeper into darkness.
But even though life is hard, our hearts and mind don't have to get hard with it. We have as much free will to choose to be positive and happy, as we do to choose to be negative and unhappy. In fact, it takes the same amount of effort to do both, so why not choose to think positive and not sink at all?
Proverbs 17:22 (MSG) says "A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired." A cheerful disposition is a by-product of choosing to think positive, because as we think, so will we be. If we choose to think negative, we'll be bone-tired, and what happens when we're bone-tired? We sink.
You see, we sink because of how we think; but if we think positive, God helps us keep our heads, and our attitudes, above water.
With our free will, we can choose to be an optimistic thinker or we can choose to be a pessimist; we can let our attitudes change who we are, or we can choose to change them before that happens. We can let our thoughts control us and our emotions, or we can choose to control them instead. The choice is ours—and it's a life-changing choice.
Happiness depends on our mindset, not our circumstances, and even though attitude transformations don't happen overnight, they do happen. No matter what you're facing today, a total attitude, heart and mind transformation can happen for you too, if you want it bad enough to work for it and invite God to begin a transformation in you.
Tracie Miles is a national speaker and author with the internationally known Proverbs 31 Ministries and has spent the last 12 years inspiring women to live intentionally for Christ She is the author of two best-selling books, Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past to Create a Beautiful Future and Stressed Less Living: Finding God's Peace in Your Chaotic World. Her newest book is Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies for Transforming the Way You Think, Feel and Live (April 2017). She is a contributing author to the popular Zondervan NIV Women's Devotional Bible and the Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today Daily Devotional Book, in addition to being a monthly contributing writer for the Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today daily devotions, which reach nearly one million people per day around the world with encouragement from God's Word. Tracie also holds the role as COMPEL Manager at Proverbs 31, has 3 children and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can connect with Tracie on her blog at www.traciemiles.com and all social media outlets.
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