Many people walk along life’s path focusing on their past mistakes, failures, and disappointments, and they have filled their hearts with pain and discouragement. Look back on your life for a moment. When you remember the past, do happy, positive memories come to mind, or do past regrets or painful memories fill your thoughts? Life is filled with both positive experiences and negative ones. It is up to us to choose to learn from the negative experiences only far enough as to gain the lessons they teach us, and focus on the positive times, filling our minds with positive, uplifting, and wholesome thoughts.
What are some of the happy memories and experiences been in your life? Have you ever experienced fulfillment and the feeling of being spiritually alive? When you look back on the different stages of your life, are some stages happier than others? In the garden of your life, do you see God’s promises as being beautiful flowers growing along the path that you walk? Why not focus on the flowers representing the good memories, and let their sweetness fill your heart with joy.
Focusing on the thorns, the thistles, and other weeds in your memory will only hurt and limit you. If you only gather these thoughts and emotions from your mind, and present an always-negative point of view, you are both denying the goodness of God, and you are also preventing others who you interact with from living a fulfilled life with God.
It is not wise to collect all the negative memories in our past together—along with all the feelings of hurt, disappointment, and pain—and talk them over until we feel discouraged and hopeless. Darkness fills a life and heart that is discouraged. This self-inflicted darkness in the heart will shut out God’s light from shining in, and this darkness will spill out of one’s life like a shadow looming on the lives of others.
Thank God each day for the blessings that He has shined into our lives. Instead of remembering the bad, let us collect all the blessings and positive memories that He has done for us, and focus our minds on them. Jesus, God’s Son leaving His Father’s throne, putting on humanity over His divinity, all with the goal of rescuing us from the power of sin and Satan. Jesus’ ultimately succeeding with His life, death, and resurrection, opening and reconnecting God with humanity and creating a new path for reaching the Father in heaven. Through Jesus, humanity now has the option of freedom from sin and the destruction that sin has caused. Jesus Christ paid the price for us, He redeemed us, and He freed us from sin so that we can live fulfilling lives with Him. These are the thoughts that uplift us when we group them together in our minds. These are the thoughts that God wants us to keep fresh in our minds.
When we doubt God’s love and are suspicious of His promises, we dishonor Him and hurt His Holy Spirit. Imagine how a mother would feel if her children were constantly complaining, acting as though she did not have their best interest in mind, when in reality, her whole life has been focused on helping them with their goals and bringing them true happiness and satisfaction. If her children doubt her motives or her love, it would easily break her heart. How would any parent feel if their children treated them this way? Taking the analogy a step further, what would our heavenly Father feel when we distrust His love or His motives, which lead to Him giving up His only Son to give humanity the option of salvation. “Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?” (Romans 8:32). How many people do we see as we go about our daily lives, who by their actions and attitude, if not directly saying that, “God is not interested in me. He probably loves others, but He does not, or He could never love me.”
Thinking this way is damaging your heart, your mind, and the core of who you are. Every time you doubt out-loud is inviting Satan to tempt you, it is strengthening the habit of doubt in your life, and it is separating you from God’s influence in your life. When we are tempted, do not even inhale for the reason of saying something that is doubtful or negative. If you decide to dwell on Satan’s suggestions in your mind, distrust and doubtful, rebellious questions will fill your mind. If you talk out your feelings and thoughts, not only will this reinforce the thought in your own mind, but it will also plant the seeds of doubt in everyone you talk to and the resulting doubt in the other person’s life might overwhelm them and be impossible for you to counteract. You might come to realize freedom and escape from the doubt of your temptation, but the ripples of your words and the seeds that you planted in others’ lives may not result in the same growth of understanding that you experienced. Our words have the power to uplift others or plant the seeds of doubt that lead to destruction. Because of this, it is very important that we share only things that will give spiritual strength and life.
The universe, both the good forces and evil forces, is listening to how you talk, the impression you are giving to others about God, and if your life is a reflection of your words. Because of this, let us focus our conversations on Jesus, who lived, and died, and who rose again to give us a way to reconnect with the Father. When we share our stories with our friends and with others, give God praise and focus in what you share, and allow God’s joy to fill our heart. This will bring our thoughts and minds to Jesus.
Next week, we will continue looking at how we should live and present ourselves as we continue Celebrating Life with Jesus.
P.S. As always, if I missed something, or if you would like to respond on this topic, join the conversation below!