Train your mind to focus on the positive


What is it that you complain about the most?

Some people complain because they’re not married. Then they get married and they complain about their spouse. Maybe you complain that money is tight or the house is so small or the kids are driving you crazy.

Others complain about the weather, the traffic or a slow internet connection. Maybe the problem isn’t the weather, the traffic or the lack of lightning-fast internet speeds. If we are honest, our problem is often a matter of focus.

Complaining shifts our focus away from the goodness of God. When we complain, we take our eyes off the goodness of God. We have subtly begun to center our attention on ourselves.

If anyone ever had the right to complain, it was the Apostle Paul. Paul felt called by God to go to Rome to preach. He knew if he could reach the leaders in Rome, he would have a chance to impact the world. But instead of becoming a preacher in Rome, he became a prisoner in Rome. He was locked up for about two years.

Paul was chained to a different Roman guard every few hours, awaiting his likely execution. I would imagine the floor was hard and the food was bad. It would be understandable if Paul had complained about his situation. But instead of complaining, Paul penned these words to the Christians in Philippi: “Do everything without complaining and arguing…” (Philippians 2:14)

Paul set such a high standard. I can make so many excuses and keep on complaining or I can admit there is a better way to live. And with the help of the holy spirit, I can begin to establish some new habits, patterns and practices in my life.

Sometimes, the problem is that we have allowed ourselves to develop habits that are not pleasing to God. Research has proven that repeated complaining hard wires the brain to do more complaining.

In other words, the more negative you are, your brain is being conditioned to continue down the path of negativity. This negative mindset takes us down the path of confirmation bias. In other words, you expect something to be bad, so you get what you expect. It is like you find what you are looking for.

I want to train my mind to focus on the positive. Rather than focus on all that is negative, I want to learn to look for all that is good.

Steve Greene is the lead pastor of The Point in Seymour. Read his blog at or email him at [email protected]. Send comments to [email protected].

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