Those who have a certain amount of worry and concern are not necessarily weak. Stress, like all the other negative forces which attempt to influence our thoughts everyday is real and there is no condemnation toward those who battle against it. However, it would also not be a balanced perspective on this subject without adding that negativity is actually an invited guest rather than an unwelcomed intruder. You are probably wondering what this means? Well, the mind is always open to suggestions, but we ultimately decide what we believe and how we will react. We are constantly bombarded with persuasions, similar to hearing a case in a courtroom, but in the end, we accept our position and the course of action we will take. If we agree the situation is hopeless, we are embracing discouragement and failure, but if we reject fear and stand upon the promises of God, we cannot be defeated. Pessimism is an attitude and it can advance into an infection of the conscience while holding us in a paralyzing grip of misery. Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity while the optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”
The body is a complex system of electrical currents and hormones which are controlled by the brain and is exactly why we must be careful with what we see and who we listen to. When we choose to live in the realm of our emotions, we can become vulnerable to doubt which is always seeking to distract and deceive. Those who are easily persuaded and have not developed spiritual discernment can be more easily tempted and usually without resistance. The world of marketing probably knows more about how our thoughts can influence our actions than many churches who should be warning God’s people about the importance of protecting and renewing the mind. If we are not convinced that constant advertising is effective, then why do we hear commercials playing in our head instead of Bible scriptures? Whatever we think about is being imprinted into our conscience with the hope that we will believe and accept the message. The danger is that certain information can bring confusion and error. When Christ sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter, He was also given to help guide us and be our information filter. Of course, He is waiting for us to invite Him into our affairs but will not intervene where He is not wanted.
Once pessimism is accepted and given authority to rule the mind, the person becomes subject to its powers and demands. Mathew 18:19 talks about the power of agreement and reminds us that it is wise to stay focused on the positive. It has always been important to guard our eyes, ears and mind from the powerful influences of words and images, and in today’s world it’s more critical than ever. In a very short time we have gone from a relatively quiet and isolated world, to an extremely chaotic environment thanks in part to technology that has the potential to constantly connect us with people and information. The sounds of many voices are bombarding us because we have not recognized our need to become more selective with our information gate and the fact that we are accountable for being the gatekeeper. Most people believe they are in control of their lives, but do not realize they are actually being controlled by what others are saying and how this is having a huge impact on their own thoughts and views. Even worse, many times individuals do not perceive they are confirming their problems with their negative confessions. Words are not magical, but they have power to create as the Bible teaches in Proverbs 18:21 and also in James chapter three. This is another example of the responsibility for our thoughts and comments. It would be better to say nothing than to pronounce curses into our situation. We can think, say, and do whatever we want which also means we cannot always blame others for the person we are. Let us realize there is a difference between being concerned and coming into an agreement with the forces of fear. As the mind is truly a battlefield for control, a wonderful verse of strength and encouragement is found in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Dr. Holland is a Christian minister, author, and community outreach chaplain. To read more articles and stories or to request a free copy of his new CD at: billyhollandministries.com
Ask for a free copy of the scripture CD, “keeper of my Soul” and learn about Billy’s brand-new book, “Convictions and considerations – Encouragement for the Soul” at: billyhollandministries.com