I’m driving down the road when it comes on the radio.
“Experts say that you can change from being a pessimist to being an optimist.”
Really, I wonder? I thought it had to do with personality, the way someone is made. I’ve always been a glass half empty kind of person. Not proud of it, but it’s true.
The radio announcer continued: “Yes, studies have been done and it is possible for you to become an optimist. It is simply a matter of perspective. You can train yourself to see life differently.”
And I would have laughed out loud and talked back to that little chipper-of-a-girl announcer and told her that she obviously wasn’t a pessimist or else she would have given a little more instruction than that…But I didn’t laugh and I didn’t talk back because I know it’s true.
You see, I’m a recovering pessimist. And that, I am proud of. Very, very proud.
And while the optimistic radio announcer moves on to other things, my Savior, the Light of the World, the One who leads us in the way we should go, He speaks.
He reminds me the eye is the lamp of the body and if the eye is dark, the whole body is filled with darkness. Even “their minds were filled with darkness.” (Romans 1:21)
Whether a person is a pessimist or an optimist depends on how they see.
And how one sees depends on what they look at.
How Not to be a Negative Person
With the history I’ve had, I’ve seen dark. How else could I interpret life than through the dark lens I was given? How can any of us expect to see differently than the lens, the lamp, the perspective we’ve been handed? Our fallen, dark, distorted lens tells us how to see life. Ourselves. Others. God.
But we can change our perspective. We can trade in our lens.
“For Light has shone in the darkness and the people walking in darkness have seen a great light.”
Praise His Name!
Experts are just now saying something God has said in His word for thousands of years: Our lamp stays bright when we look to the Light. This is why we must learn what it really means to abide in Christ – so that we can keep focused on Him.
“They” say to think positive to make things positive. But being a positive person isn’t just a matter of thinking positively. It is a matter of thinking positively of God.
Retraining our eyes:
“Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship Him as God or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.” Romans 1:21
Our lamp becomes dark when we doubt our God. Our vision is distorted when we distrust our Creator.
Our perspective is skewed when we prioritize what our circumstances tell us instead of who God says He is.
The word for “worship” in Romans 1:21 is “doxazo” and means “to exalt, to magnify.”
The eye is our lens, our glass, our magnifier. And whatever we magnify is what we worship.
We can either magnify our circumstances….or we can magnify our God.
Magnifying our circumstances will often lead to a negative attitude. Magnifying God, though, is how to avoid negative thoughts.
Isn’t this the way to keep your lamp bright? Stop looking at things the way everyone else does! Stop interpreting life according to the ways and rules of this world. Find edifying things to do instead of Facebook. Look instead through the lens of a good God.
When I give regard to my circumstances, I give them honor. I esteem them as more powerful than my Almighty God.
My circumstances tell me all sorts of lies.
But my God, He tells me He’s in control. He tells me He is good. He tells me He is Adonai. Bread of Life. Conquering King. Defender of the defenseless.
For every letter of our alphabet, He is.***
He tells me He will never leave me or forsake me and He will carry me even to my dying day. He tells me His plans for me are good, to give me a future and a hope. He tells me all His deeds are done in faithfulness and that it is impossible for Him to lie. He is the One to fill my glory hunger.
And I know the secret of Romans 1:21: A pessimist listens to circumstances and the opinions of people.
But an optimist? Well she looks to her God.
***The Alphabet exercise is one of the many trust building exercises found in the Trust Without Borders devotional… for a gentle, practical journey to regaining your spiritual sight.
Are you ready to make some changes in your perspective? To nix that negative thinking?