by: Staci Stallings
This is another of those topics where Event = Default = Default
The event happens, whatever it is, which sets off your default of Negative Thinking, which then sets off a different default setting. So today, let’s look at the mental trigger of negative thinking.
For years (and years and years!), I was drilled in the power of positive thinking. My parents were in Amway when I was very young, and through that company, they were encouraged to go to seminars to learn to sell (although in “real life” they were dairy farmers). One of the mainstays in the early Amway movement was Zig Ziglar, who eventually became one of the most well-known motivational speakers ever.
In our house growing up, we listened to a LOT of Zig.
I knew all the stories, had most of the tapes stored in my memory banks. I am the owner of several Round-To-Its, and I can quote many Zig-isms by memory. To say that Zig was a big influence on my life would be to severely understate his role in my growing up.
Now, the reason I bring this up is because having gone through a ton of positive thinking courses over the years, I know that positive thinking IS absolutely better than negative thinking.
BUT positive thinking can also be a huge trap.
So before we get to the mental trigger of negative thinking, I want to warn you that simply replacing negative with positive is not the way to go.
Positive thinking sounds like the solution to the issue of negative thinking. It’s where we get such phrases as: “Cheer up!” “Look on the bright side!” “I can!”
That sounds like it should work, but the problem is there has never been an alchemist born. You cannot make gold from lead no matter how hard you try. So standing over the “lead” issues in your life and trying to turn them into “gold” will never work.
I was telling a friend the other day that we spend a lot of time spray-painting gold paint over our lead trying to make everyone else believe that it is really gold. It’s not, and we know it’s not, but that seems less important than trying to get others to believe it is. So we paint and we paint, and when some chips off, we frantically paint it again.
That’s what positive thinking is–gold paint over lead.
The problem is that we still know it’s lead.
“Lead” is us with no “life in us.” When we are living on our own strength, wisdom, and effort, we are living out of our lead-selves.
When we live in the Spirit, we are living the TRUTH about ourselves– that we are GOLD because God is inside of us.
So it’s not about spray painting some gold over the lead and hoping everyone buys it. It is LITERALLY swapping our lives with Christ’s–lead for gold!
Now back to the negative thinking.
I believe negative thinking is basically Satan and his demons filling your head with lies. He is, after all, the father of all lies, and he wants to destroy you. What better way to do that than to fill your head with his lies?
“I can never do anything right!”
“I hate this!”
“I’m so bad at this!”
“Whatever I do is never enough!”
“I hate myself!”
“I’m such a loser!”
“This is never going to work out!”
“Look what a mess I’ve made of this!”
And on and on.
If any of these sound familiar, take heart… it is not YOU thinking them!
So first, when the negative thinking monster starts, recognize that you have control over the demons putting those thoughts in your head, and then CALL THEM OUT AND GET RID OF THEM! Here’s how to do that:
“Satan, you and all your minions, are hereby cast out and away from me by the Holy Blood of Jesus Christ. You are cast out and sent to the throne of the Most High God to be dealt with there as He sees fit.”
Then invite Jesus in…
“Dear Lord, I need help with my thoughts and this situation. Please, please help me.”
That’s a rough outline, feel free to revise it (just be sure to cast the demons out by the Holy Blood of Jesus Christ… they have no power over that.)
Then “set your thoughts on higher things.”
Don’t reach for the candy bar. Reach for your Bible or your journal. Have a dialogue with God about what’s going on, and PAY ATTENTION to what He says!
Call a Godly friend and have a talk.
If you have an online group who can pray or offer words of wisdom, go to them (if you don’t have one, set it up… I have one with 2 other friends, and it is a Godsend!).
What you do NOT want to do is to let the mental trigger of negative thinking take over because it will if you let it.
No gold paint please, but don’t think you are at the mercy of them either. Be proactive in taking your thoughts captive.
I know for me, one of the most difficult parts of the day is at night. For whatever reason, fear likes to snake its way into my mind right before I go to sleep. So now, when that happens, I cast Satan out and then I sing hymns to myself as I go to sleep. Listening to Christian songs, reading the Bible, reading devotionals–all of those are options for replacing the negative thoughts. If you are Catholic, the Rosary or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy work well for when you have to replace negative thoughts with something positive. And yes, even positive thoughts can replace them. Just don’t try to do only that on your own power because that will not work for long.