There’s a beautiful piece of wall art that hangs above the stairs that lead down to our living room. It reads “Today is going to be a great day.”
My husband gave it to me for Christmas to act as a sweet reminder of all that the day could be, if I allowed it. Too often I trudged down those stairs with heavy feet, while ducking behind a proverbial shield, greeting the day with a tried-and-true defensive tactic. Too often, I anticipated the bad—not the great.
That piece of wall art acts as a reminder to straighten out my thoughts before my first cup of coffee.
That’s why it hangs above the stairs. So I see it through sleepy eyes on the way down, first thing in the morning.
Today is going to be a great day.
Positive thinking certainly has its benefits. Some folks repeat mantras throughout the day, slap a happy quote on the fridge, or watch YouTube videos of adorable puppies to boost their moods. I suppose positive thinking can’t be discredited. After all, listening to a peppy, upbeat tune sure puts me in a better mood than a sad, slow country song. And thinking about what I have—rather than what I don’t have—can definitely turn the day around.
But is positive thinking all there is to it? Do you just have to think happy thoughts?
I once heard a pastor talk about this, and I’d have to agree with his philosophy. He felt it was less about positive thinking, per se, and more about positive speaking… that is, speaking God’s truths into your thoughts. Positive thinking is important, but its success relies entirely on the type of positive thinking. You could think positive affirmations all day—I’m a good mom, I’m a hard worker, It’s a beautiful day, I’m blessed—and while that may provide confidence in the short-term, it does little for the long-term. Those affirmations could be ripped right out from under you with a single mistake—or event. Would a positive affirmation hold water in the moment you learn your best friend died in a tragic accident?
I don’t think so.
The Word of God, however, stands firm regardless of circumstance.
Philippians 4:8 says, “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.”
The first thing Paul says is to think about things that are true. And what is true? God’s Word and His promises:
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
“…we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29)
Repeating to yourself over and over again that you are a good person is fine, but declaring “I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God has a divine purpose and a plan for my life,” doesn’t hold a candle to your “I’m a good person” speech (Psalm 149:14 and Jeremiah 29:11).
Think about it: what holds more value? What you say about you or what God, your creator, says about you?
Today is going to be a great day. That’s a positive thought. But weave the truths of Scripture into it: Today is going to be a great day because God made today. And I have every reason to rejoice. He says He will direct my path. He will provide for my needs. And no matter what comes my way, He’ll never leave me. That’s why today is going to be a great day (Psalm 118:24, Proverbs 3:6, Philippians 4:19, and Hebrews 13:5).
The only way that positive thinking can prove effective is if you master positive, true speaking—injecting God’s truths into your thoughts and speaking them over your life. And the only way to do that is to mediate on the Word of God, memorize scripture—and put His truths into practice (Philippians 4:9, Luke 11:28).
How have you improved your thought life?