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Maintaining a healthy perspective

There seems to be a real sense of negativity filling the minds of people today. Listen to the media and it seems to be one never-ending stream of reports of disaster, disgrace, despair, and depression. When you fill your mind with bad news, it is a natural progression from there to living a life steeped in a negative attitude. Consequently, we have multitudes of people living with what I call the “Eeyore Syndrome.” People who have this syndrome can only see the negative probabilities rather than the positive possibilities.

Thankfully, the Bible gives us a prescription, an antidote to the poison of negativity that permeates the atmosphere surrounding so many people. It is found in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (NKJV).

If you want to become a person who takes charge of their environment and rises above the negativity surrounding them, you must take this verse to heart and diligently strive to live these values on a daily, moment-by-moment basis.

It may mean some drastic changes in your lifestyle and entertainment choices. Try turning off the radio and TV once in awhile. Choose to watch movies with uplifting and inspiring stories. Immerse yourself in the Bible and learn its timeless truths and values and how they relate to you personally. Take a vacation from Facebook. Read books that stimulate your thinking. Go for walks and admire the beauty of nature. Spend some time watching a sunset and marveling at the ever changing colors that paint the evening canvas of the sky. Become involved in a ministry that helps those less fortunate than you. Do these things and you will be surprised at what it will do for your mental and emotional outlook.

As you make the effort to develop a positive thought life, please recognize the key to success in this effort. It is found in the verse we read earlier: “…meditate on these things.”

The word meditate means “to carefully consider, to calculate, and to ponder.” That means tat we are to intensively focus our attention on things that are positive and uplifting. We are to concentrate on what is pure. We are to study what is just. We are to meditate on things that are pure.

And the tense of the word indicates we are to keep on doing it. It is an ongoing process that we purposefully pursue every moment of every day. So, let me encourage you to try it. It may revolutionize your life into an upward trajectory.

Rev. Mike Shiery

Pilgrim Bible Church

361 Pine St., Cedar Springs

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