I had the honor of presenting at the 5th Annual Jabez Book & Business Expo hosted by Dr. Shirley Clark recently, and I shared three steps to eliminate negative thinking.
The root of negative thinking typically comes from our past experiences. I know firsthand not only the power of negative thinking but also the freedom and opportunities created when we shift our minds to focus on God’s truth.
So, how can negative thinking be eliminated? A.S.K. God!
• A - Acknowledge whom God says we are and whom He is when negative thoughts enter our minds.
• S – Seek truth and rest.
• K – Kill the outside noise and distractions that cause negativity.
My heart was crushed at an early age because of someone’s decision to sexually abuse me as a child. I spent a lot of my life feeling imprisoned by negative thoughts because of it. I thought was not worthy of love. I blamed myself, and I walked in shame for years. Along with working through the abuse with a licensed counselor, I had to ask God to renew my mind and help me process the damage the trauma had caused. I had to learn to replace those thoughts with truth.
I engraved these two scriptures in my heart and mind:
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 (NIV)
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 (NIV)
Often, I would experience different emotions that I struggled with like feeling rejected, unlovable, or ashamed. When I felt these things, I would go back to God’s word for certainty. I would find a quiet place to pray and ask God to renew my mind. These scriptures began to become my truth:
“As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him” 1 Peter 2:4 (NIV)
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” Psalm 34:4-5 (NIV)
I found that eliminating outside influences that impacted my thoughts negatively was key to shifting my mindset. Some of my distractions were social media, people, and places. There were times when I had to get away from everyone and everything to renew my spirit from the negative influences. Heck, even Jesus got away from people so he could be alone and pray. We all need that from time to time.
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16 (NIV)
During our lives, we will all face disappointment and pain, situations that could create a whirlwind of negative thoughts that enter our minds. I pray that when they begin, we can take our thoughts captive and A.S.K. God.
Exposing ourselves to a new way of looking at life changes EVERYTHING!
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