POSITIVE THINKING FOR CHRISTIAN LEADERS
Kirt S. Manners
POSITIVE THINKING IS A BIBLE BASED THEORY
The first idea of positive thinking did not come from Norman Vincent Peale, Napolean Hill, John Haggai, Calude M. Bristol, or Robert H. Schuller, although these are all great writers on the subject, but it came from the wonderful book called the Bible. In every part of life, the Bible is the source of strength and power and all positive ideas. Many things in life are so uncertain, but the Bible is so sure (positive).
It is the Word of God that came into our life at a time when everything was so shaky. The Word put us upon the Rock. It established our goings, gave us a sure way and a solid path. At a time when we were drifting down the road, the Word gave us something to hold to. Now our life is no longer maybe, hope so, but it is yea, verily, and amen.
The Word of God has spoken, “If my people which are called by my name will…I will…” “Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened.” “Ye have not because ye ask not.” Each and every statement out Lord has made to His people is full of positive meat. As a matter of fact, there are no negative statements. It was our Lord that said that we shall become. Bro. J. T. Pugh preached a great message on the right to become. Not one thing can stop the process of the act of the positiveness of God.
POSITIVE MEN LOOK FOR THE GOOD IN EVERY AREA OF LIFE
The positive men of God are like the hummingbird that looks for and finds honey, often in the most unlikely and unthinkable places. These people probe every problem, proposal and opportunity to discover the positive aspects present in almost every human situation.
Are there times when you have looked at these type of people and said that these are “super people”? These are not. They are people, just like you, who, when faced with a mountain, DO NOT QUIT. THEY MAKE NO EXCUSE WHY THEY CAN’T. They keep on striving until they climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath–or simply stay and turn their mountain into a gold mine.
A. TO BE EFFECTIVE IN THE WORK OF GOD, ONE MUST LOOK FOR THE POSITIVE IN ALL AREAS OF LIFE. ONE MUST LEARN HOW TO DO THE FOLLOWING:
1. Overcome inferiority complexes and live confidently, trusting in God.
2. Listen to new ideas and evaluate them carefully, (DON’T STAY IN A RUT).
3. Spot opportunities and seize them courageously.
4. Welcome challenging problems and solve them creatively.
5. Face personal tragedies with equanimity and, if possible, use them constructively.
GOD EXPECTS HIS PEOPLE TO EXCEL
God wants His men to be pace-setters–record breakers–confidence creators–hope boosters–faith builders–enthusiasm generators–powerful believers–sanctified opportunists–dedicated dreamers–glorified gamblers.
A. WE ARE TO BE MEN OF ACTIVE FAITH
God wants His men to: turn dreams into exciting achievements–turn problems into profitable projects–turn tragedies into inspiring triumphs–turn opportunities into rich enterprises. It was in the life of Jesus that one of the greatest tragedies became the greatest triumphs–His death. The most wonderful thing is that He is with us–we are not alone. He said He would go with us even to the end of the world. To put it straight, there are some things you can do without in the work of God, but the subject we are on, one must have. The great Word of God says that without faith it is impossible to please God. This world does not want a God that will not be with them all the way. The world is looking for a positive way. We have it–let us use it fully.
Great things can not begin happening for us until we use faith. Positive thinking is really only faith in action. Every promise in the book hinges on applying positive thinking.
B. WE EXCEL BY PUTTING ASIDE THE NEGATIVE AND CLOTHING OURSELVES WITH THE POSITIVE
It was that wonderful positive thinker, Paul, who said, I die daily. What I feel he was saying was that he killed everything that was unlike God every morning. The way we kill something of the Devil is to resist or override it with something from God. I feel that Paul began each day with a positive thought seed and held it there all day long. We should dress our mind just as we dress our body. No good man would go into the world half-dressed. Before you begin your day, you should make a habit of collecting “shields for the spirit” that can fortify your minds as you move into the day. Try these shields:
Mark 14:36 – “Father, all things are possible.”
Luke 18:27 – “The tings which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
Matthew 17:20 – “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed you can say to this mountain move, and nothing shall be impossible.”
Mark 10:23 – “For with God all things are possible to him who believes.”
Mark 10:27 – “For with God all things are possible.”
Luke 1:37 – “With God nothing shall be impossible.”
Mark 10:27 – “With men it is impossible, but not with God.”
Matthew 17:26 – “But with God all things are possible.”
C. USE POWERFUL AFFIRMATIONS
1. I can do great things.
2. I have great possibilities deep inside me.
3. I have possibilities that haven’t been born yet.
4. I’m really a wonderful person when Christ lives in me.
5. I’ve been my own worst enemy because I have limited the power of God in me.
6. I’m a child of God. God loves me.
7. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Everyday we must use Prayer Power. God weighs our prayers, He doesn’t count them. Norman Grubb prayed this prayer, “Good morning, Christ. I love you! What are you up to today? I want to be part of it! Thank you, God. Amen!”
Somewhere along the way one must dream of what he should be. Have faith that he can be that. Then he must get into action. J.C. Penney once said, “The hardest part of any job is getting started.”
TRIAL AND DIFFICULTY IS A PART OF LIFE
There is some difficulty in all of life, but we must always remember “If God be for us WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?” There was a great man, Thomas A. Edison, who was a tough, positive thinker. On the night of December 9, 1914, Edison Industries were practically destroyed by fire. Mr. Edison lost two million dollars and much of his life’s work went up in flames. He was sixty-seven at the time. Most men would have given up–not Edison. The next morning, walking about the charred embers of all his hopes and dreams, Thomas A. Edison said “There is great value in disaster.” “All our mistakes are burned up! Thank God we can start anew.” And three weeks later, just twenty-one days after that disastrous fire, his firm delivered the first phonograph.
A. TEN GOOD IDEAS TO PRACTICE IN HANDLING ANY DIFFICULTY YOU MAY
1. Thank God you have difficulties. It’s a sign you are alive.
2. Learn to stand back from your troubles and take a calm survey of them. The best way to do this is through the practice of quietness. In quietness and peace, take a level look at your problems.
3. Use your full mind power to analyze your difficulty. Then systematically chip away at it, bit by bit.
4. Think positively about your difficulty. Believe that you can overcome it. Do this and you are already well on the way to victory.
5. Learn the spiritual-practical method for handling a difficulty.
6. Let persistence work for you. Keep everlastingly at it, and you eventually will be victorious.
7. Grow to the high point where you can look down on your problem, and then use your problem to help you grow.
8. Calmly take life as it comes. Deal with your difficulties with controlled emotion and steadily keep on working for victory.
9. Never build a case against yourself.
10. Make use of the available power of the Almighty. Troubles will defeat you without God, but with His help you can handle any difficulty.
YOU MUST BECOME STRONGEST IN YOUR WEAKEST PLACE
You can become altogether different–strong where you are weak, right where you are wrong. Look upon your weak spots as challenging opportunities. The process is similar to that of welding. When a piece of metal breaks and is welded back together, the metal flows together, making the weld stronger than the metal that surrounds it. A cabinet maker once said that if two pieces of wood are reversed and glued together under heat, the wood will crack somewhere else before it will break at the glued point.
A. A SIX POINT FORMULA FOR STRENGTHENING OUR WEAKNESS
1. Isolate your weakness; then study and know it thoroughly. Plan a real campaign against it.
2. Precisely specify the strength results you wish to attain.
3. Picture or visualize yourself as becoming strongest at your weakest point.
4. Immediately start becoming the strong person you wish to be.
5. Act as though you are strongest where you have been weakest.
6. Ask God to help you and believe that He does.
B. GOD SOMETIMES CAUSES A GREAT DEFEAT; A TREMENDOUS SHOCK TO BRING OUT THE BEST IN US
A recent issue of Reader’s Digest carried the story of young Ron Gillis, who operated a “chipping” machine at a sawmill in east-central Oregon. Like many young men, he was not able to decide what he wanted to do with his life. He had dropped out of college, tried several jobs, but was satisfied with nothing. The only reason he stayed with this job was because the mill owner had agreed to switch him to a better position the following week.
On Friday, Ron’s last day on the chipper, it was getting close to quitting time, when suddenly the chip conveyor stopped. A knot of wood, has stalled the belt. Pushing the buttons that turned off the power to the chip belt and conveyor, he saw no need to need to turn off the chipper itself. Stepping upon the timber trough, he checked several electrical connections, which seemed to be in order. He then pressed a button he thought started and stopped the conveyor belt. It was not. The belt on which he stood instantly jerked into motion, flinging him onto his back. Only eight feet, possibly two seconds of time separated him from the whirling razor-sharp blades. Grabbing the sides of the steel guards, he threw his legs up and saw that the spinning blades were only three inches from the seat of his pants. After lying there several minutes, he decided to attempt to throw his legs over the side and roll to safety. Carefully, he pressed his toe against the metal. What
happened next is not clear. But he remembers no sensation of pain, only lashing of bones and tissue and the blinding of his own blood.
Continuing to struggle, he never slipped from full consciousness. Rolling over and pulling himself up, he tried to push himself erect, but he couldn’t get his legs to work. He looked down. He had not legs–only stumps. It was apparent the machine had won; it had taken his legs. For a moment, Ron considered falling backward and letting the blade finish its destruction. Then suddenly he felt a rage–no, he would not let the machine win. He had gotten free of it and he was going to live.
Ron retained his consciousness all the way to the hospital, where he underwent surgery to close his stumps. During the next nine months he was fitted with artificial limbs and trained to walk on crutches. Ron says now, “Before the accident I had no particular goal in life. Now I want to work with people, to become a vocational counselor working with the handicapped. the accident knocked me out of my old world and forced me to look at a world that had never interested me. I think I can make something of myself in that new world.” What a beautiful example of a young man taking tragedy and making something useful of it. This was made possible only by his determination and optimism.
C. STEPS IN PERSISTENCE
Here are four necessary steps that lead to the habit of persistence. The call for little more than time and effort.
1. A definite purpose backed by burning desire for its fulfillment.
2. A definite plan, expressed in continuous action.
3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends, and acquaintances.
4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.
These four steps are essential for success in all walks of life. One must make these four steps a matter of HABIT.
These are the steps by which one may control one’s economic destiny.
They are the steps that lead to freedom and independence of thought.
They are the steps that lead to riches, in small or great quantities.
They lead the way to power, fame, and worldly recognition.
They are the four steps which guarantee favorable “breaks”.
They are the steps that convert dreams into physical realities.
They lead, also, to the mastery of fear, discouragement, indifference.
Thomas A. Edison, with less than three months of schooling, became the world’s leading inventor, converting his persistence into the talking machine, the moving picture machine and the incandescent light, plus fifty other useful inventions. Upon close examination of this man, one finds nothing that even remotely suggests the source of his tremendous achievements except persistence.
TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR POSSIBILITY THINKING
There are ten rules you must follow in order to effectively apply positive thinking and determination:
A. You will never vote no to any idea because “It’s impossible.”
B. You will never block a helpful thought because it entails problems, or wait to begin until you find a solution to every problem.
C. You will never oppose a possibility because you’ve never done it and can’t imagine how it could be done.
D. You will never obstruct a plan because it runs a risk of failure.
E. You will never cooperate in defeating a potentially good suggestion because you can see something wrong with it.
F. You will never squelch a creative idea because no one else has ever succeeded in perfecting it.
G. You will never declare any constructive concept to be impossible because you lack the time, money, brains, energy, talent, or skill to exploit it.
H. You will never discard a plan or a project just because it’s imperfect
I. You will never resist a proposal because you didn’t think of it, you won’t get the credit, you won’t personally benefit from it, or you may not live to see and enjoy it.
J. You will never quit because you’ve reached the end of the rope. Tie a knot and hang on.
Now you can start dreaming! And be sure you make your dreams big enough for God to fit in!
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