Day 17: Adults

Abound in Optimism
“Submit it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse” (Philippians 4:8 MSG).

One day a schoolboy brought home his report card. It was heavy with poor grades. “What have you to say about this?” asked his father. “One thing for sure,” the boy replied, “Dad, you can be proud. You know I haven’t been cheating!” Now, that’s true optimism! Somehow, I don’t feel like the father would have had the same outlook.

We rarely identify a common failure in our lives. How often do we discover our whole attitude is set in a wrong direction by our picturing what could or would or may possibly happen in a certain situation? When that situation really happens, we are so bothered and flustered by what we have been thinking that we are powerless to handle the problem. There have been many books written on the subject of the power of positive thinking. There is a place for positive thinking, but only after you have first encountered a positive life, the life of Christ.

In Philippians 4:8, Paul had encountered Christ and gives us a whole list of optimistic things with which we can fill our minds. These items include things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious, the best, the beautiful, and things to praise. We only have to look to the life of Christ to see the perfect model of a life chocked full of all those things. If we fill our minds as Christ did, there is no room for other things!

Christians can offset the doom-and-gloom mentality so widespread in our world today with a gentle, loving, faith-filled approach to life. We can refuse to be caught up in the hopelessness and me-first mentality that is too normal in the world. We can offer light in the darkness and hope in the face of despair. Try it! It will make a difference in your life and those lives you encounter along the journey.

“Father, help us to fill our minds with positive thoughts. Help us to align our thinking to be based on the reality of Christ alive within us. We know that we can be confident in the good and perfect outcome of You at work in all of life’s circumstances. Thank you for being in control of all things.” Amen.