That is not the attitude God wants us to have! Amen! The Lord wants us to be positive, to have high expectations. The mind is an amazing tool used by God that determines the level of our spirituality, our attitudes effect our lives. If you go into a job interview expecting to not get it, you probably won’t. Joyce Meyer says, “Positive minds produce positive lives. Negative minds produce negative lives. Positive thoughts are always full of faith and hope. Negative thoughts are always full of fear and doubt.” And it’s true.
To have low expectations, to be negative as a way of life, is a form of failure. To not expect to get a job, for things to not work out, anyone live by this motto: “If you don’t expect anything good to happen then when it doesn’t work out you won’t be disappointed.” When you commit your life to Christ, the negativity as a way of life has to go…for some it is a slow process, and that’s ok. In some ways, like the de-motivational calendar says, low expectations is safer and easier. Here is the words on the wall of the office of the golfer Arnold Palmer:
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win but think you can't,
It's almost certain you won't.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.
One of my greatest everyday models of positive living comes from the ladies of the Clothesline. I can brag about them. They expect positive things. They see the good in people. They feel so blessed to be able to help. One of their lifes passions is to pass on the best clothes. For those who go to the clothing bank, let me tell you that every item comes with a blessing, for the ladies believe everyone deserves the best we have. The community is so generous, and every week the ladies sort through the clothing and carefully select the best of what is available.
Living with a positive spirit is a form of faith. Your expectations are altered so that you expect everything to work out for the good: Romans 8:28. Maybe your life doesn’t go as you expect, but to search for the good, to have hope and expectations does amazing things. Too others we want others to fail in order to boost ourselves…how wrong is that? To be a positive minded person also means to want the best for others, applaud others, encourage others…
There is a story from child hood growing up here in Sumas. The winters used to be very long with weeks of snow clogging the streets and far less equipment to clear paths. I was good at playing games and accustomed to winning. Our family played games when we lived on Vancouver Street…one evening we were playing Monopoly, and I was certain I was going to win, but then it happened, one bad role and I landed on somebody else’s monopoly and I was wiped out. I lost. I took it so hard I started crying, I ran from the room, and I hid under the bed. It was an early life’s lesson about perspective. To think positively/rightly as a Christian does not mean selfishly, that I will win, it means that God will win, that God will set everything right in his time. To this day, 40 years later, I can still remember thinking as I lay against the wall in the dust under my bed, “how stupid is this.” To bless others is far superior. To think positive means faith and hope, that God is in control, not me.
I’d like to end with a wonderful seed of hope from a short old testament book, Lamentations. The city of Jersusalem lies in ruins, the beloved city, the home of the Jews is broken, literally. Jeremiah laments/weeps over the city. I look at the broken lives, the difficulut situations, the economy, the wars, the grief of a nation, the uncertainty of the world….for five long chapters Jeremiah laments over the city, but right in the middle is a glimpse of hope, a word of expectation, a positive thought of faith and hope (Lamentations 3:22-26):
If you are struggling in relationships, in uncertainty, in lack of resources of any kind, I have no prophetic word for when your situation will turn around. But I do know this: the love of the Lord never ends. Begin each day with a word of thanks and remember that God is faithful. Adopt a positive spirit so that you can recognize the goodness of God. “Great is his faithfulness, his mercies are new every morning.” At nighttime everything is so dark and it is so easy to be pessimistic. Wait for the morning, for the light of day, and begin fresh one more time. The mind is an amazing thing, and for those who find the discipline to focus on the positive, you will find uncommon joy and delight in the Lord.