Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Encouragement, faith, Fear, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Patience, prayer, Sermon Notes

The Power of Positive Thinking

 Thinking positive attracts positive outcomes!

The POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING

 

Romans 12:1-2

Verse 1 says that we should present our bodies — that is, our whole active life — as a living sacrifice which is our spiritual service of worship. So the aim of all life is worship. That is, we are to use our bodies — our whole lives — to display the worth of God and all that he is for us in Christ. Now it makes perfect sense when verse 2 says that, in order for that to happen, our minds must be renewed. Why? Because our minds are not by nature God-worshiping minds. They are by nature self-worshiping minds. That is the spirit of our minds.

 

The term “the will of God” three biblical meanings.

First, there is the sovereign will of God, that always comes to pass without fail.

Second, there is the revealed will of God in the Bible — do not steal, do not lie, do not kill, do not covet —

And third, there is the path of wisdom and spontaneous godliness — wisdom, where we consciously apply the word of God with our renewed minds to complex moral circumstances, and spontaneous godliness where we live most of our lives without conscious reflection on the hundreds of things we say and do all day. Romans 12:2.

Mentally first then fruit on the outside. “Transform” So transformation is a profound, blood-bought, Spirit-wrought change from the inside out.

Regardless of temperment/environment/how we were raised etc….

When it comes down to it, positive, optimistic people are happier and healthier, and enjoy more success than those who think negatively. The key difference between positive and negative is how what we think about and interpret the events in life.

Research is beginning to reveal that positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile.

First seek to understand before being understoodPositive and negative thoughts can become self-fulfilling prophecies: What we expect can often come true. Persistent negative thinking can cause mental health problems, including depression.

The first step in controlling your thoughts is awareness.

Identify your negative thoughts. Cognitive behavioral therapy practitioners believe that we have the ability to change our behavior by changing our thoughts. Thoughts are the catalyst that lead to behaviors.

CANT CHANGE OUR BEHAVIOR UNTIL CHANGE OUR THOUGHTS – CAN’T CHANGE OUR THOUGHTS WITHOUT RENEW MIND – TAKES THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO DO IT. 

The first step in changing negative thinking is to become aware of it. For many of us, negative thinking is a bad habit – and we may not even know we’re doing it!

SIGNS OF A NEGATIVE PERSON:

  1. Negative people rarely know what they stand for; they only know what they stand against. If the person you’re dealing with isn’t “for” anything positive, they likely have a negative worldview.
  2. Compliments are usually followed by the word “but”. A positive person (and even a neutral person for that matter) can give a compliment. Negative people can’t. What starts out positively (“I really enjoyed the event today”) is inevitably followed by a “but” (“but had they turned the volume down and shortened the message it would have been better.”)
  3. They aren’t accomplishing much with their life. Truly negative people rarely accomplish anything great. Because they are against so much, few people want to work with them. Stalled out careers, a history of frequent job changes, financial trouble and other similar markers often characterize negative people.
  4. They have no vision for the future. A negative person is almost never excited about the future. They have no compelling vision for what should be. They can just tell you why your vision is wrong. When you ask them for alternatives, they rarely have original or well-thought-out ideas.
  5. People who are negative have an issue with pride. They think they are better and smarter than you and by how they talk down at you makes them feel good and it puffs up their oversized ego. Their comments aren’t there to help you; they are there to make you feel inadequate and dumb. When they make you feel dumb, they feel superior and that is where all of this negativity fester from.

Quick TEST:

New Job: (do you think “what if I can’t do this or am I good enough?)

Exercise (do you think pain, change, time, discipline – or my body is going to look great and I can be healthy to live longer) Or, if you feel bad about not exercising or not eating healthy, all you think about is how little willpower you have, how you’re lazy, and how you don’t have any motivation.

Vacation (do you think $$ wasted, work to pack & plan or let’s go and relax and have good time)

Let go from job ( it must have been something I did, or wasn’t good enough or the company is going thru a slump)

Call/email from someone you don’t talk to often (what do they want or try to sell me something or I can’t wait to connect to them.

The waitress brings you a water instead of a tea, do you complain about it so much that everyone at the table knows about it, and get them to bring you another one or do you just drink your water and think it’s no big deal?

Do you think about her day?  Do you try to understand the other person first without getting upset cause you didn’t get what you ordered?

DO YOU HAVE NEGATIVE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE BRINGING YOU DOWN?

When you see anyone’s name come up on your caller ID, you get an immediate emotional reaction to it. Sometimes you’re thrilled to see the name and can’t wait to take the call. Other times you’re neutral. But sometimes you wince. Whether it’s a phone call, a text or an email, you respond negatively and quietly think “oh no.” That’s a sign that the person’s overall influence in your life has been negative, not positive.

How do you have a positive mindsetWe all have negative moments in our life…. 

Even DAVID was negative especially when he had his “pity party” moments, yet he still knew who to call upon for help.  As Christians we may have our faults and our times of negativity due to the circumstances, however we must keep the faith of knowing where our help comes from. 

Psalm 13 O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever?

How long will you look the other way?

2How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,

with sorrow in my heart every day?

How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

3Turn and answer me, O LORD my God!

Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.

 

Definition: Negative thinking is the tendency to take the most unfavorable view of situations, or to expect the worst outcome in any circumstances; the practice of looking on the gloomy and dark side of things.

Positiveness is optimism; the tendency or habit of seeing and expecting the good in things; looking on the bright side; anticipating favorable results; hopefulness.

Bible says a lot about negative thinking….

  1. Giving place to negative thinking only bears bad fruit.

Proverbs 23:7 [If you give place to negative thoughts, you will become a negative person.] For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

Proverbs 15:13 [Sad and negative thoughts weaken our spirits and lead to discouragement.] By sorrow of the heart, the spirit is broken.

Luke 6:45 [Those whose hearts and minds are filled with negative thoughts usually spread them by voicing them.] A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Romans 8:6,7 [Negative thinking is not walking in “newness of life,” but in the old carnal nature which is against God.] For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity [hostile] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. [See also Eph.4:17.]

1 Corinthians 13:5 [If we’re walking in love, we don’t think negatively towards others.] [Love] doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.

Hebrews 12:15 [Harboring negative, critical thoughts can lead to bitterness.] Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.

WE CAN CONTROL OUR THOUGHTS

Eph 4:21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him,throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.

Take every one of your thoughts (beliefs, imaginations, dreams, and ideas) captive to the obedience of Christ. (II Corinthians 10:5)

Since all of your emotions, words and actions originate in your mind and heart, you can wake up every morning with the assurance that you have the power to control how you feel, what you say and how you act all day long.

No one is a victim. Guard your heart; you are what you think. (Proverbs 23:7) Also, whatever thoughts you sow into your mind, you will reap the consequences. (Galatians 6:7) You become what you think!

Spend a few seconds reflecting on what you are today and what you have. Everything about you is the result of what you have been thinking your whole life.

Day dreaming is thinking, planning is thinking, imagining is thinking, reacting to circumstances is thinking and wishing things could have been different for you is thinking. Your beliefs are your thoughts grouped together over many years.

One of the greatest truths in life: It’s not what happens to you (your past, present or future circumstances) or what people do or say to you that cause your emotions.

 Your emotions come from what you think about after things happen to you! You control all of your emotions by what you think. Emotions are simply data telling you what you have been thinking.

YOUR THOUGHTS PRODUCE ACTIONS – PRODUCE HABITS – PRODUCE YOUR DESTINY

WHERE ARE YOU GOING RIGHT NOW?

Also, listen to your words and watch your actions and let them tell you what your heart looks like.

We can over ride any past thoughts and transform my life by the renewing of my mind

Let your mind dwell on only these eight powerful, life-changing words: true, honorable, right, pure, beautiful, adorable, excellent and praise worthy. (Philippians 4:8, 9)

No one controls how you think and thus, no one has the power to control how you feel, speak or act any longer.

You are never the victim of others or circumstances.

What Negative Thoughts Do to Your Brain

Let’s say that you’re walking through the forest and suddenly a tiger steps onto the path ahead of you. When this happens, your brain registers a negative emotion — in this case, fear.

Researchers have long known that negative emotions program your brain to do a specific action. When that tiger crosses your path, for example, you run. The rest of the world doesn’t matter. You are focused entirely on the tiger, the fear it creates, and how you can get away from it.

In other words, negative emotions narrow your mind and focus your thoughts. At that same moment, you might have the option to climb a tree, pick up a leaf, or grab a stick — but your brain ignores all of those options because they seem irrelevant when a tiger is standing in front of you.

This is a useful instinct if you’re trying to save life and limb, but in our modern society we don’t have to worry about stumbling across tigers in the wilderness. The problem is that your brain is still programmed to respond to negative emotions in the same wayby shutting off the outside world and limiting the options you see around you.

For example, when you’re in a fight with someone, your anger and emotion might consume you to the point where you can’t think about anything else. Or, when you are stressed out about everything you have to get done today, you may find it hard to actual start anything because you’re paralyzed by how long your to–do list has become.

In each case, your brain closes off from the outside world and focuses on the negative emotions of fear, anger, and stress — just like it did with the tiger. Negative emotions prevent your brain from seeing the other options and choices that surround you. It’s your survival instinct.

 

What Positive Thoughts Do to Your Brain

Fredrickson tested the impact of positive emotions on the brain by setting up a little experiment. During this experiment, she divided her research subjects into 5 groups and showed each group different film clips.

The first two groups were shown clips that created positive emotions. Group 1 saw images that created feelings of joy. Group 2 saw images that created feelings of contentment.

Group 3 was the control group. They saw images that were neutral and produced no significant emotion.

The last two groups were shown clips that created negative emotions. Group 4 saw images that created feelings of fear. Group 5 saw images that created feelings of anger.

Afterward, each participant was asked to imagine themselves in a situation where similar feelings would arise and to write down what they would do. Each participant was handed a piece of paper with 20 blank lines that started with the phrase, “I would like to…”

Participants who saw images of fear and anger wrote down the fewest responses. Meanwhile, the participants who saw images of joy and contentment, wrote down a significantly higher number of actions that they would take, even when compared to the neutral group.

In other words, when you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment, and love, you will see more possibilities in your life. These findings were among the first that proved that positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open your mind up to more options.

TALK ABOUT LEAVING A LEGACY! You create the environment. That is power in your thoughts!

Tips on how to stay positiveGREAT TIPS TO BECOME MORE POSITIVE PERSON

  1. Keep a gratitude journal. Remind yourself of your blessings.
  2. Focusing on the positive. Push out all feelings that aren’t positive. When you hear the voice in your head say something negative, take a pause and substitute the negative for something positive.ONLY focus on the good things in your life. Realize that your thoughts do not own you. Stop letting negative thoughts control you.
  3. Only use positive words when talking. Stop CURSING your self!
  4. Practice positive affirmation. One of the most popular positive thinking exercises is positive affirmation. This means you repeat a positive phrase to yourself on a regular basis like “I deserve to be happy” or “I am worthy of love”. Believing that these things are true, and reminding yourself of it can help give you a more positive outlook on life.
  5. Believe you will succeed. Believe in yourself.
  6. Forgive yourself. Stop being your own worst critic. Don’t dwell on mistakes.
  7. Let go of the past. It does not determine your future so why focus on it? If you feel yourself ruminating on the past make a conscious effort to take your thoughts in another direction.
  8. Remember things could be worse. Understand that the situation is not forever.
  9. LOOK at your circumstances as an opportunity. Look at the big picture. Visualize a successful outcome.
  10. Relax and let things happen. See it from another point of view.
  11. Avoid negative people.
  12. Do something nice.
  13. Avoid laying blame. So the water bill didn’t get paid. You could get mad and start a fight with your spouse or roommate. Or, you could let it go, take it in stride and work together to remedy the situation.
  14. Be playful. Engage in physical activity – DO SOMETHING NEW.
  15. Listen to something upbeat. Music can be a great mood enhancer.
  16. Monitor your stream of consciousness. Focus on great memories – PHOTOS
  17. Concentrate on breathing. When things just seem to be too much to deal with, try concentrating on simply breathing.
  18. Find something to laugh about.
  19. Face up to change.
  20. Focus on finding a solution. Don’t wallow in your problems. Instead, work towards finding a solution and getting them resolved. You’ll be able to feel proactive and feel in control of your life.
  21. Believe the world is a good place.
  22. Stop making excuses. Take control of your decisions.
  23. Don’t play the victim. Bad things happen to everyone from time to time. Pitying yourself and wanting others to feel sorry for you isn’t going to make things better. Pick yourself up and start working towards a happier future.
  24. Don’t place your future in someone else’s hands. Your future is yours alone to shape. Remember this and take control of where you’re going in life.
  25. Create realistic goals.
  26. Choose joy. Every day when you wake up you make the choice whether to be happy or miserable.
  27. Believe you deserve good things and know who you are in Christ. If you don’t truly believe that you deserve good things in your life you likely aren’t going to encounter many. Believe that you are worthy for good fortune to come your way and it just might.
  28. Sometimes all it takes to feel good is to put a smile on your face. Practice putting on a happy face even when you just feel so-so.

Positive thinking usually attracts positive people, events, and outcomes. If you want to create an environment where you’re successful and satisfied, you’ll need the power of positive thinking on your side and that comes with renewing your mind with God’s Word and having Jesus centered in your life.

Our life becomes a spiritual act of worship and displays the worth of Christ above the worth of the world, when we allow him to renew our mind. Are you ready to put that into action?  Leave a comment below and let me know your great tips!

Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Encouragement, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony

Battle Tactics Two

When I was in High School, I played basketball.  I wasn’t very good but loved the challenge and the competition especially when it came to playing defense.  Before most games the coach will know a little about the other team players.  He knows the players positions, their weaknesses and also their best ability of talent, in other words, who to watch. The reason behind knowing is to make sure the best guard is on the best shooter.   It is important once you are in the game, you know your opponent and his tactics if you want to win or survive.  That is what I am trying to do in writing yesterday and today.  Know your enemy, know his tactics, know how to overcome in the heat of the battle.  Better yet, know your enemy, submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee.

Yesterday I spoke on how the enemy wants to destroy our faith by attacking us in several different areas of life.  His schemes are simple and very slow in such a way of being in the camp without one even knowing he is in the house.  He first will tempt us to sin by defiling our conscience and getting a foothold in our mind and in our actions.  He will persecute believers by making you feel as though you don’t belong, trip us up by slander in finding any detail that could be twisted into a false accusation, draw us into self-reliance to get things straight with control, get our eyes off Christ and catch us off guard.  In other words, Satan is so sneaky he comes in and sets a plate at the table without you even knowing it.   I explained in detail how he uses different battle tactics to do these things with Battle Tactics One.

Today, I will add to those things his other goals.  How does Satan demoralize us?  The first method is to accuse the saints and intimidate us.  He then will discourage us in any way, form or fashion.  He then turns and redefines the battle.  He wants us to think there is no battle or that he is not in this battle by turning saints away from other believers and the lost.  If he can promote getting our eyes off of the lost world and onto our own selfish nature, he sets back and waits for the sound of each rifle shooting, laughing loudly at the confusement he has set up.  He promotes either isolation or gathering in clicks, tempting other believers to become our opponents.  He makes the battle a fleshly one encouraging us to use our own efforts to achieve spiritual ends.  He has us to battle for power and authority over one another instead of relying on God to take care of the matter or to take action into their own hands.  Prayer becomes obsolete as we let Satan consume our mind, our thoughts, our time and drains one of energy.  Instead of fighting, one is ready to flight because they cannot take the front lines of the battle field any longer.

Once Satan comes into the camp, he sits at the table, he bring division as he dishes out into our plates unresolved anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, envy, pride, selfish ambition, covetousness, murder, arguments, bad judgment, slander, gossip, inflammatory speech, and alienation from leader by sowing seeds of mistrust.  By this time we have eaten and don’t even realize this battle tactic of poison he has given to each family member, spreading like a disease very subtle as it becomes airborne.

As the enemy sits back and waits for the poison to consume our minds and bodies, he continues to spit out the lies, twist the truth and target more of God’s people.  He then follows up with the next step by leading one into error.  He then sits and waits for the consuming of each other as one by one saints continue to get discouraged and drop out of the picture.

The enemy knows the battle far more than we do and he has been doing this for years upon years.  He has false teachers, false teaching and false accusations for shooting down good leaders.  He gains influence over us through occultism, hidden occultism and demonize believers.  His entire goal is to prevent the lost into becoming a Christian by quickly snatching the seeds of the gospel, blind unbelievers, play the game without true conversion or change the church’s agenda.

Satan’s schemes and tactics are complex in his strategic warfare.  We all have fallen prey to his schemes however if one is determined to change his or her behavior and will by turning to Christ in the heat of the battle once they have realized it, then God will consume with love.  Love covers a multitude of sin, casts out all fear and wins every time.

If you have found yourself in the heat of the battle lately, what tactic did the enemy use on you?  Have you recognized it was a plan of the enemy in the first place.  It is not your brother and sister in Christ, it is not the person who doesn’t know God, it is not your husband, wife, children, or any family member.  It is Satan who comes to steal, kill and destroy any way he can and these are his tactics!  Know your enemy so you can stop the plan.  Let love fill you up through finding prayer and intimacy with Christ, in His Word through His messages and through His Spirit.

Isaiah 54:17  No weapon formed against us will prosper or be successful.

Resources for Battle Tactics One & Two:

Genesis 3:1-6, Zechariah 3:1, Job 1, Jude 4,8,10, I Chronicles 21:1, I Samuel 15:23, Numbers 16:11

Matthew 4:1-3,6,12:43,13:4,19,24-39,16:22-23,24:24, 26:51-52, 27:3-5,

Luke 4:2-7, 9-11,22:3-4. 9:62,

John 8:44, 13:2, 14:30,12:5-6, 16:11,

Ephesians 2:2, 4:3,26-31,

I Corinthians 3:4-5,10:12, 3:18-19,

Hebrews 12:1-3,

Colossians 3:8,

2 Corinthians 2:6-11, 4:4, 10:4-5, 11:3-4,14,

I John 2:1, 3:12, 4:3, 5:19,

3 John 9-10,

Acts 5:3,8:18-20,15:19-20, 19:19, 20:28-31, 23:8,26:18,

Romans 8:1,15,33,5:10,

I Timothy 3:6-7,4:1-2,

2 Timothy 2:26, 4:3-4,

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12,

Galatians 3:1, 4:17,

I Peter 5:8-9,

James 3:14-15, 4:1-2

Revelation 2:10,13, 12:10-11,16:14, 19:20,20:7-8

 

 

 

 

Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness, Leadership, Soul Winning, Supernatural, Weird Stuff

Bit By A Viper – Poisonious Results

Last night when I came home Spencer and Eli was watching clips about snakes.  Eli hates snakes.  As McKenzie and I watched the snake eat baby squirrels, we expressed how disgusting it was.  Animals, reptiles, insects, and humans share more than we realize.

Image

We all try to survive in this world, share this world and learn to live daily.  Life, funny thing isn’t it? The difference between us and the other creations of this world is we have emotions and we can think and reason.  We have this wonderful ability to be so different and unique but yet so quick to turn on our own kind instead of protect and nurture as other species do.  Today, I write about the effects of the Viper.  Whether you realize it or not we all have been bit by poisonous snakes.  What is the remedy or quick action we can take before the poison sets in and leaves a scar for life?

Words and actions from people can be very poisonous and the effects from the venom can be quite disastrous.  When you look at the general symptoms of a snakebite, you will notice several things.  First of all lets compare the physical to the spiritual after being bit by a snake (spiritually speaking = a lie from the enemy of our soul).

The Central Nervous System is affected.  There is dizziness, increased thirst and headache in the physical sense.  From the Spiritual side point being dizzy means having no sense of balance with the potential to fall.  In other words, life will be going in circles without any relief from mind battles with no clear thoughts only nauseated worry.  An increased thirst is from the lack of the Holy Spirit’s guidance and leading, comfort and the ability to receive teaching.   A spiritual headache is comes from refusing guidance of authority with prideful selfish thinking.

In the Systemic, there is fever and severe pain.  Spiritual fever is the result of a wake up call to an infection that is foreign to your soul as a born again believer, resulting in unresolved pain and lack of thankfulness. High temperatures reach potential dangers of damaging the ability to think, act and reason.  A spiritual fever demands hitting the rewind button from the past, dwelling on the past, or living in the past.  Because of lack of prayer and lack of faith the spirit of fear sets in…. resulting in spiritual sickness.

Notice in the picture how vision is affected with blurriness.  When we look into the spiritual there will be no clear vision or direction to go.  Panic with a sense of urgency causes one to run for help usually in the wrong direction as he or she experiences pain, panic and fear.  Many times people run instead of allowing or receiving help from the ones who are capable of helping.

The condition of the heart in the physical or spiritual is not as noticeable to the natural eye.   Rapid pulse, blood pressure and shock usually comes upon the initial bite yet it continues to be experienced after the bite. Most of the time when we get bit spiritually, these things also play out in our body through stress resulting in fatigue, weight gain or loss, no energy, addictions and other sought out pleasures to escape this world.

The Muscular system is affected with convulsions, loss of coordination and weakness.  Spiritual convulsion is throwing your body into a tantrum of anger, bitterness and an unforgiving attitude. It is acting out through actions everyone will see and notice.   The loss of coordination is making wrong decisions during this time and weakness is just that, spiritually weak.

The Gastric and Intestinal system is affected with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  Spiritual sickness results in regurgitation and dispelling waste on everyone around through contact which stinks up the entire area.  Everyone is affected by this not just the bitten. It is seemingly having the right to spout off negativity, gossip, back biting all because of the infection of a viper bite (lies believed).

What do you do when you get bit by a viper?  Education and knowledge will prevent you from doing what you shouldn’t do.  Remember in the movies you would see people cut the wounded bite with a knife and suck out the poison?  Not a good idea.  (Spiritually speaking this would mean we TRY TO PUT THINGS INTO OUR OWN HANDS IN TRUSTING IN SELF INSTEAD OF GOD – doing the opposite of what God wants you to do.)

In the physical they say you should remain calm, wash the bite area, wrap the area to constrict blood flow and  have someone to carry you for treatment.  The less you move is the best.  Spiritually speaking:  the less you move is the best.  Wash the area with the Spirit and Word of God, constrict by not allowing the poison to affect other parts of your soul and allow Jesus to carry you through this difficult time with treatment of Love, forgiveness, mercy and grace. (In other words – wait on God!)

Better yet, do as Paul did.  Shake the snake off into the fire and continue to live, teach, breath, go, preach and walk as Jesus to a world of people who continue to get bit by vipers.  You now have the antidote!  Shake it off and you won’t have to worry about experiencing all these results in the spiritual sense.

As Christians, vipers, poisonous bites from talk or actions from people should have no affect on us.  Words, actions, expectations of others should only cause us to stand in the gap for those who are victims of this biggest trick of the enemy.  Yes I agree it is hard not to fall prey to a viper when they bite in the most unpredictable time and season of your life but I choose to be thankful under this pressure, count it joy while yet passing through this world to get to eternity.  I must remember not to let the venom affect me or those around me.  Lord help us all.

Matthew 12:34 New Living Translation (©2007)
You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.

Romans 3:13 New Living Translation (©2007)
“Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.”

Mark 16: 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17“These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Acts 28:3-8 3As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. 4The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” 5But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. 6The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds…..

Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness

Changing Victim Mindset

In one of the classes I offer, we are talking about our thought process and how it creates mindsets.  I have come to realize there is a clear distinct difference in having a victim mentality.  It starts with the way you think with negative self talk.  It is believing false assumptions and grasping a victim mindset. Most people don’t know they have a victim mindset however those around them eventually see the true picture by the reactions they take.  The victim surrenders power over their life to others because their life is driven by their environment and are they are often bound by unforgiveness. Victims tend to see the control and responsibility for their situation as belonging to others and blame the bad things that happened to them on someone else.  In other words, “I suffer today because of someone else.”

In counseling I often tell others life can knock us down at times, but the past or current situations cannot control who we are or what holds for our future.   Our past doesn’t control or determine our future nor does our environment control us, only we can determine our future by taking responsibility for our own actions and thoughts today. This is what I try to convey to those who have a victim mindset and give them exercises on how to change.

I remember times where I had faulty thinking and I believed others were always trying to make me mad until I had Jeff to remind me that wasn’t true.  I don’t know where it came from and I don’t know why I thought that.  It started with an argument between me and him and I automatically owned the untrue thoughts that everyone was out to try to just aggravate me or come against me, not intentional of course but it seemed everyone in my life at the time was making me irritated. That is when I realized I was being controlled by how I reacted to my environment and not by the truth.  I realized I had to take my thoughts captive to Christ and what His word said about me and my life instead of believing that others were out to “get me”.  Call me silly but it seems when you get in that type of mindset, everything is just “bad” or negative thus creating a snow ball effect of bad thoughts, decisions and words spoken leading to situations that seem to get out of control.  It puts you into fight mode, justification for your actions mode and throw a fit mode to tell the world the wrong that has been done to you.  I am thankful I had a husband who put a stop to this before it got out of control because I couldn’t have imagined going through this mental torment longer than a day.

When something happens in life causing stress or pain, a person with a victim mindset usually blames someone else for their suffering without taking responsibility for their actions in the dramatic situation.  (“This happened to me because of you!” statement example or “You made me angry!”) This person usually has low a self-esteem, intimacy issues and becomes angry as they have a feeling of helplessness.  It is though the truth or other choices are simply invisible. The victim feels their life is just a roller coaster of bad circumstances one right after another.  They may even feel as though it is fate or that they are being punished.  With this type of mindset a person feels important when they make an issue by blaming others to get attention while portraying a feeling of helplessness thus creating “I am the victim here”.  This in turn satisfies the ego to make others think you are helpless in the given situation. They usually like to tell others their side of the story in order to make others feel sorry for their circumstances and help them through the situation.  This mindset affects the mood, behavior and happiness not only in themselves but also others around them.  More likely others will not continue to help them for it seems it is one continuing saga since their situation continues in one form or another.  My father-in-law always said, “You can’t continue to help someone if they don’t help themselves”.  Victims focus on what they cannot control therefore their circle of influence shrinks, in other words, no one wants to be around them after a period of time fearing they are always asking for help or leaving a negative influence behind.  It also focuses on the negative aspects of life therefore decisions made will be based on wrong assumptions.  Thus creating more bad decisions which lead to more pain and failure which encourages this victim mindset to continue. This is why it seems that life continues to shell out bad things.  We have learned that thoughts lead to actions, actions lead to habits, habits lead to character and character leads to destiny.  It all starts with a thought.  We are here today because of the thoughts we had yesterday or the day before.  Therefore it starts with thoughts and we need to change ‘our mind’.

Victims can feel they have certain rights that the world owes them, and are disappointed or angry when the world doesn’t deliver. They tend to feel very strongly about “their rights” and they way things should be done for them. The focus is “what can I get?” from this situation.  What people don’t realize they can emerge as victor or victim and their actions prove what mindset controls them.  We cannot always control what happens to us but we can control how to react to it.

How can we help others or ourselves in this mindset?  We must first realize how to control our own negative self talk.  We all must learn to shut down negative opinions from others.  We also must learn the skills to overcome our thought process.  Instead of taking pity we can learn to rise above events and refuse to allow others to rule our life by being proactive instead of reactive. Proactive people focus on the things they can control.  The most effective way to overcome the victim mentality is to start taking responsibility for every action and circumstance in life instead of blaming others for current circumstance.  Proactive people’s lives are driven by the values they employ in how they choose to respond.  When something happens we must ask ourselves what we did wrong in the given situation so we will learn wisdom not to repeat it.  If we don’t learn, guess what happens, life continues to shell out the “bad circumstances” cause we haven’t corrected the victim mindset, therefore we continue to blame others for where we are in life.   We must release others for their failings to meet our expectations and accept responsibility for our own actions.  We first must start thinking positive and believe people are not out to get us or out to make us miserable or out to sabotage our happiness.  We must replace negativity with positive thinking.

As the Word tells us, “renew our mind daily”. When we learn the wisdom we will stop blaming others on our current environment or past situations.  Jesus never blamed others or wanted to tell others his side of the story to make others feel sorry for him but instead prayed for them and died for them.

 

 

Prayer:  Lord help me change my thoughts into Your thoughts when I fall into the victim mindset.  Help me to recognize the truth instead of lies.  Help me to remember You are always in control even when I am not.  Help to be proactive and not reactive to my environment or current situation and to think positive.  Help me to own my responsibilities and not blame others for how I am feeling or what I am going through at the present time.  Help me to pray for others instead of wanting to take revenge on others because of my circumstances.  Help me to forgive others, love others and reach out to others.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Ephesians 4:23 23and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.