Nov. 04, 2015
From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
Think positive! It’s essential for peace and contentment in people’s lives to control or manage their thinking. The mind is powerful; it can cause people to believe things that are false to be true and vice versa. W. I. Thomas, a famous sociologist, once said, “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.” In other words, the way people subjectively interpret life’s situations, true or false, will cause actions. Thus, to have positive outcomes, people need to think or see the positive sides of life. Are you a positive thinker?
The Israelites were blessed people, but they failed to manage their thinking; thus, they became complainers and negative thinkers. In Exodus 3:7, Moses informs us that God heard their cry and provided a means for them to be delivered from the Egyptian bondage. Pharaoh was stubborn and refused to let God’s people go; his stubbornness was used by God to harden his heart. Finally, after the death of the first born in each family, he decided to let Israel go. Allow me to describe what can happen to people who refuse to control their thinking.
As the Israelites were about the cross the Red Sea; they saw Pharaoh and his army approaching. Instead of them trusting in God to protect them, note their sarcastic response to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness” (Ex. 14:1)? Shortly after observing the great power of God, in his destruction of Pharaoh and his army, the people didn’t learn to manage their thinking. They again said to Moses, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full” (Ex. 16:3). Each time the Israelites encountered a challenge in their lives, Jehovah-jireh provided for them (Ex. 16:4). Not long after this, another challenge emerged in the lives of the Israelites. Did they learn to manage their thinking? Notice what they said to Moses in Exodus 17:3, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst.”
This became a continuous pattern in the lives of Israel. They constantly complain about this or about that. They couldn’t see the blessings of God because of the way they define their respective situations. Things were not as bad as they made them out to be, but the unwillingness to manage their thinking, changed them from “faith-walking people” to “negative complaining people.” “Faith-walking people” are governed by the following simple principles: (1) trust in God all the time, (2) remember what God has done in the past, (3) wait patiently on God, (4) live rejoicing in hope, and (5) think positively about the present situation or challenge in their lives.
Refuse to think or behave like the Israelites. May God bless you with a great day! Remember the way you define life’s situations makes a difference.