Positive Thinking

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.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

If anyone is to doubt whether the Bible is truly a positive thinking book, the above verse should have made it clear. Being a Christian is not about going through rituals as practiced by religious churches. It is about changing the way we think, speak and response to the situations that are around us. In short, a Christian life is a life of positive thinking, positive speaking and positive responding at all times even if we are in a really bad situation.

If you bother to read through the Bible, you will be able to read stories on how godly people got into deep trouble that seemed to be impossible to get out. Yet, they chose to be positive and trust in the Lord as their deliverer. In the end, they managed to get out of the troubles with greater prosperity in their lives.

This is the second purpose of the Bible.

There are 2 functions of the Bible:
1. Show us how to secure our place in heaven.
2. Show us how to prosper in every area of our lives.

The first one is simple. All you have to do is to accept Jesus as your savior as specified in the First Layer Gospel and your future in heaven is secure.

Even religious churches like to use this as a marketing ploy to lure unsuspecting public to join their church.

(The difference between religious churches and true churches is the religious churches change their “gospel” the moment the non-believer becomes a believer. For example, they will tell the non-believers that the moment they believe in Jesus they will be able to go to heaven. After they believed, they will be taught to do many things to preserve their heaven membership. Should they fail in any of them, they will go to hell. )

Overall, the first function is very simple to deal with, simply because it cannot be proven. Who can provide any proof that the First Layer Gospel is false? So, you can preach about it without having to worry over anyone coming out with some counter proofs.

However, the second function is more difficult because it can be proven. This may be one of the reasons why most preachers are afraid to preach about it. They must be afraid of being proven wrong by hard evidence. Unfortunately, such cowardice has denied many Christians from the prosperity that God wants them to enjoy while they are still on earth.

This is the reason why I will not waste time in attending those counterfeit churches. As far as I am concern, I am already saved based on the authority of the First Layer Gospel. So, I do not need resaving. My interest is in the second function of the Bible. I want to have abundance of prosperity in every area of my life. This is why I only listen to real Bible based preachers.

Let us get back to the above verse. As you can see, the writer wanted his audience to think thoughts that are good. What can we learn from here? I can see 2 points:
1. Positive thinking is a regular practice.
2. Positive thinking is independent from any external circumstances.

The above verse seems to imply that the act of thinking positive requires effort. Not thinking negative does not count. If you really want to receive good things your life, you cannot afford to slack in this area. You need to be disciplined and set up specific time to think positive.

Second, the above verse does not place any conditions for that instruction. It does not tell us to think positive only when the external circumstances are positive. If you want to have good things in your life, your positive thinking routine must be continuous even if you are going through some rough passage in your life right now.

In fact, positive thinking is more crucial when we are physically in a bad situation.

Let me give you an example. Certain routines like drinking lots of water and having enough rest are good for our health. We should do it daily. However, if you are sick, these things are even more important to you. You need to do them more.

Likewise for our thought lives. I can never over-state the importance of maintaining a healthy thought life for it is the key to all the prosperity we ever desire. The choice is yours. Will you obey or disobey?

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Grumbling And Arguing

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV)

The above verses are about making it big in life. If you are employed, you can use it to get promoted and higher salary. If you are in your own business, you can use it to increase your customer base and generate more profits. If you are still looking for a job, use this to get the job you want.

Verse 14 tells us to do everything without grumbling or arguing. I am sure that if you have been living in the real world long enough you will find grumbling and arguing at work is very common. Everybody does it including Christians.

What do people grumble and argue about? There are lots of topics to choose from. I suspect the most popular are not enough salary, too much work, other co-workers who do not fit into one’s “perfect” standards and others. What do the grumblers and arguers get out of from these activities? Absolutely, nothing.

The only result in such activities is the reinforcement of negative thoughts in the minds of those who did them. When you grumble and talk bad about somebody, that person is not harmed. You are the one getting harmed by your negative talk. So, the wiser choice is not to do it.

What will happen when we refuse to join in the grumbling and arguing at work? Verse 15 tells us that when we do that, we may blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then we will shine among them like stars in the sky.

I don’t think the above words are too difficult to understand. When everybody is talking negative and adopt negative attitude but you alone talk and act positive, you will stand out like the only start in the dark sky. You will become very attractive. Your employers, customers, clients, co-workers and associates will be attracted to you. Positive attitude is very attractive.

As a result, you will be in a better position to receive a higher pay rise, higher bonus, more and better customers. You will end up richer than those who are negative. All things being equal, the positive person will outperform the negative person in all areas and at all times.

How to be positive? It always began from the inside. Think positive thoughts. Use your imagination to visualize the environment that you desire. Speak positive words. In the event you find yourself unable to think positive, the least you can do is to keep your mouth shut. Do not make negative confessions like grumbling and arguing. This is the message of the above passage.

Verse 16 tells us it is the writer’s desire for the recipients of this letter to have a positive attitude. The display of positive attitude is the proof that the person is indeed holding on firmly to the word of life. No one who has truly read, understand and hold on to the teachings of the Bible can be negative because the Bible, (which is the Word of God) is a very positive book.

The last part of Verse 16 shows the writer was getting personal in the achievement of positive attitude among his audience. If they fail to achieve it, he considered it as his waster effort. If they succeed, he would boast on it.

This tells us that God himself places a high premium on the value of being positive. If you want to please him, you should be positive at all times.