Do you struggle with negativity? If so, you most certainly aren’t alone! Today my friend Candace shares her secret tool for how to overcome negative thoughts. This is gold, here.
My dear husband calls me his little “half-empty” wife. This wonderful pet name stems from my incredible ability to see the negative in everything. He, on the other hand, is extremely “half-full” in every sense of the phrase.
I’ve often wondered what causes people to be at extreme opposite ends of the spectrum in this important area. One of our big differences is the fact my husband has always known Christ, even as a small child. I truly believe his strong faith and knowledge of the Word keep his thoughts in a positive direction and help him know how to avoid negative thoughts.
I spent most of my life as an unbeliever. Only in the past 5 years have I come to not only want to know Christ more but to also follow Him in the way He has instructed us. I’m learning that following His Word can help me not only take those negative thoughts captive, but it also allows me to truly find freedom.
Overcoming Negative Thoughts
A few months ago, I did a wonderful Bible study called the Hem of His Garment. We learned how to stop negative thinking, and that was through the use of Philippians 4:8.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
So we took it upon ourselves to change “Philippians 4:8” from a noun to a verb. In order to take those unnecessary thoughts captive, we would need to Philippians 4:8 every negative string of words that came to mind.
Is the thought True? Is it Noble? Right? Pure? Lovely? Admirable? Excellent? Praiseworthy?
This seems like a long list to live up to for any fleeting negative thoughts that come to mind, but honestly, by putting the things we are telling ourselves through this process, our minds can truly be transformed. I must admit to realizing I spent a lot of time fighting negative thoughts. It was quite unnerving at first.
Here’s one of the many great things about this verse: Telling ourselves only that which is excellent or praiseworthy completely transforms not only our minds, but our lives as well.
Being a negative person is exhausting. My many untrue and very unlovely thoughts make me physically tired. I’ve actually visited doctors in the past trying to find a diagnosis, something I could just take a little pill for, but I never found any comfort or answers on that route.
Until I came to accept these simple, but powerful statements, my mind was trapped in negativity. I continued to live a “half-empty” life, just as I had for far too many years. Those sad, unnecessary thoughts made me feel less than, unworthy, and incredibly anxious, all things Christ definitely does not want clouding our judgement.
This is a work in progress for me. Negativity is a hard habit to break, and learning to stop negative thoughts takes time. But, I truly believe this verse can transform us “half-empty” people into the “half-full” spectrum. I may never be at my husband’s level and that’s ok. Progress, not perfection…
Challenge for Good Thinking
My challenge to you is this: Philippians 4:8 the next negative thought that forces its way into your precious mind. It can be one of the many lies in the form of self-condemnation, destructive words about a friend or family member, or anything else that is even slightly less than excellent or praiseworthy.
Try keeping a journal tracking the list of negative thoughts that arise to see patterns in your unhealthy thinking, or in your glory hunger. Create a column for true phrases, completely changing each negative thought into something that contains each of the qualities we are told to think about. These are the words we want to begin telling ourselves.
I hope you quickly see how life-changing this simple activity can be in helping us to avoid negative thoughts. Are there any recurring phrases you were able to change? I would love to hear about your experience.
There is a reason the Bible has withstood the test of time. Let’s start following the important instructions found within its pages. We can find true peace and freedom there.
Click below for Grace Goals, which will provide practical help as you work to nix the negative thoughts!
Candace Playforth is a wife, mom, Jesus follower, serenity seeker, and writer sharing her messy life to encourage others. She blogs about faith, life, and creative pursuits at CandaceCreates.com. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.