By Pastor Josh McCallum

Lake Windermere Alliance Church

If you’ve spent any time with people, you’ve likely observed the unfortunate ability of our thoughts to spiral down into negativity. Almost without detection, negative thoughts can run like a snowball down a hill, collecting more concerns and anxieties until we’re consumed. While “the power of positive thinking” teaching has some flaws, it is still important for followers of Jesus to be watchful when it comes to our mindset. Typically, the spiral of negative thinking leads us to complain, anticipate bad outcomes, and assume the worst about ourselves and others. We are (by definition) those who represent Jesus, and how can we do that effectively if we’re constantly allowing thoughts of dread and disappointment? 

The Way of Jesus leads us somewhere else. Some of the pillars of the Christian life are faith, hope, and love (see 1 Corinthians 13). Faith is trusting that God has done the work to rescue us and is now bringing about his good plans for us and for the world. Hope is trusting that regardless of what happens now, God will redeem all things. Love is the fruit of this trust which allows us the proper perspective on the present, so we are free to serve and bless others. When we trust God for the past, present, and future, there is no longer a need for fear, anxiety, and discontentment. Trust in God breaks the downward spiral of negative thinking.

So, ask yourself: Do my thought patterns reflect faith, hope, and love? Do I believe the best about God’s plan and about others’ intentions? Do I show grace and forgiveness to myself and others? Negative thinking isn’t something that we need to be chained to for the rest of our lives. The Bible says we are to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2); not giving into the patterns of thinking that can so easily creep in from the world around us, but rather allowing God’s Spirit to lead us in the Way of Jesus.