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The Power of Positive Thinking

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

I’ve heard that mention of “the Universe” is becoming more common in fiction and non-fiction books alike—as in, asking “the Universe” for something or “the Universe” giving you what you need. People who don’t like to believe in God still feel the need God put in us for a guiding presence, and if they can’t name it God, they will name it something else.

Similarly, you’ve probably heard of the book or movie The Secret, which is based on the so-called “law of attraction”: the idea that thinking positive thoughts will bring positive things into a person’s life. It was widely panned but wildly popular, so at least the author’s thinking brought something to herself.

Now, I’ve seen no evidence that simply asking the Universe will get you a Ferrari, but I believe that God’s truth is still true, even when it’s obscured by secular trappings. The one aspect of “positive thinking” that has been demonstrated repeatedly is that people’s attitudes make a difference to their own lives. This “secret” is not news to God! Throughout the Scriptures, God tells us how important it is to point our thoughts in the right direction. (All references are NIV.)

In his pride the wicked man does not seek [the Lord]; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. (Psalm 10:4)

Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. (Isaiah 55:7)

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2)

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. (1 Peter 1:13)

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (Romans 8:5)

…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. (Philippians 4:8)

…fix your thoughts on Jesus (Hebrews 1:3)

…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Why does God place such emphasis on our thoughts? Because from our thoughts come our actions, and God calls us to better actions.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

That verse is probably familiar to anyone who’s been around the church for a while, and for good reason; there’s a lot of truth packed into just two sentences. But the Word of God always has something new for us. Take a moment to pause and read it again.

This kind of “positive thinking”—focusing on God—produces change in us. We’ll be able to know God’s will. For what purpose? So that we’ll obey it. So that we’ll share with others both his Good News and the riches we already have. Knowing the mind of God? That’s a secret worth seeking.

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