I have a chronic condition. No worries. It isn’t life-threatening. But it is life-impacting, causing extreme distress and misery. The diagnosis—negative thinking.

Usually I talk about this when it’s in remission (symptoms have lifted for a while). The problem with a chronic condition: it keeps recurring.

Out of nowhere my thoughts took a downturn. Negative stuff—unexpected hurts, a grudge or two, with a little hopelessness mixed in.

Self-talk: Good grief! Where does this come from? Why do I go there? Haven’t I gained enough spiritual maturity to prevent this?

Underlying problem…I’m a packrat. I keep things—old usable items I might need again someday and useless items having only sentimental value.

My packrat tendencies don’t end there. I store old hurts and grudges. A fresh hurt sends me rummaging through the musty contents of my storage chest and dragging out the rotten memories. What a waste of life!

A fresh hurt sends me rummaging through the musty contents of my storage chest and dragging out the rotten memories. What a waste if life! Click To Tweet

Why would I do that? Why choose to relive the ugliness? If only I could set fire to that rancid collection and be rid of it!

Such is the life of humans. Memory—a good thing—becomes a bad thing when we save and dwell on hurtful experiences.

But they are there. We have no delete key to eliminate them. How can we ever get beyond this trap?

Time for a therapy session—facing the facts:

  • Offenses are unavoidable. I can’t prevent them because I can’t control other people. But I can choose a Christ-honoring response when I get caught in the line of fire.
  • Forgiveness is healing. Nursing the grudge amplifies the pain, making me feel worse. The sooner I cover the hurt with forgiveness, the better…for me.
Offenses are unavoidable. I can’t prevent them, but I can choose a Christ-honoring response when I get caught in the line of fire. Click To Tweet

Awesome news! Although there is no delete key, we have a power key—power of choice. We can choose to forgive.

Can we forget? No. But we can put the offense out of mind. That requires mental discipline—filling our thoughts with good things…the whatevers Apostle Paul mentioned in Philippians 4:8. He encouraged us to think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable.

That’s the cure for negative thinking.

Years ago, “Just say no” was a popular anti-drug campaign. I thought of it recently when I read this.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:11-13 NIV).

We teach our kids to say “no” to drugs. We choose to say “no” to ungodliness and worldly passions. We can choose to say “no” to negative thinking.

I’ve made up my mind to do it. And I’m filling my storage chest with things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable.

Isn’t it time to empty your storage chest and fill it with good things?

Read more on this topic, “Negative Thoughts Will Rob Your Joy”  https://diannebarker.com/?p=681.

© Dianne Barker 2019

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