Thursday, August 13, 2009

How to stay positive

Often times our lives can feel like a tug-of-war. We are being tugged against by so many negative influences in life. There are the expectations that others have of us, there are the responsibilities we have from our spouse, our children, our job. There are the people in the world that are a negative influence. And we are in a spiritual warfare that tugs at us. As the apostle Paul said in the New Testament, Ephesians 6:11-12, "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." How are we to stay positive in this environment around us?
As a minister I regularly have this discussion with people. One of the biggest challenges is the influences we allow in our lives. I am surprised to see how many negative influences people allow into their lives without realizing the draining affect it is having on them. We can limit the contact we have with people who drain us, and demand from us, and who bring us down. We can choose to surround ourselves with people who encourage us, and bless us, and lift us up. This alone will go a long way to helping us be positive.
A second way we can stay positive is to live out our passion. We all are passionate about something; God has created us this way. When we discover our passion and seek to live it out, it is an energizing activity for us. We all want to feel like we are doing something in our lives that makes a difference, and living out our passion makes a difference in our lives and those that we are seeking to help.
Lastly, we stay positive by knowing that the power of God is with us. In the same Ephesians passage it starts out in verse 10 saying: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power." We have the power of God with us, and we have the armor of God protecting us. Knowing that God is walking with me and will never leave me gives me great reason to stay positive in my life. Even more, when I serve the Lord I am energized and feel excited about life.
It is important to stay positive. I hope you can implement these thoughts. Blessings.