By Dr. David B. Hawkins, Crosswalk.com
Life is busy as we have just celebrated Thanksgiving and soon will celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. It’s that time of year when we not only give thanks, but also reflect on the previous year and the one that’s facing us.
In this time of instant news, we hear bad news much more quickly. Being bombarded with negative information from every direction, it’s easy to slip into an emotional funk. It’s easy to worry about where we are headed as a country and what changes we will face personally.
During difficult times, it is even more critical to choose your outlook, instead of letting it choose you. Are you going to be one of those who slips into “poor me,” feeling like nothing will ever work out? Like Eeyore, will you focus on only gloom and doom? Fixated on your problems, you cannot see solutions. Unable to imagine any solutions to your problems, it is easy to slip into discouragement.
You don’t want to be there! Thankfully, there is good news, but you have to look for it. You must prepare yourself for an attitude adjustment.
Your attitude has a drastic impact on your life, coloring everything you say and do. The most important decision you make in your life is the attitude you choose to express each day when dealing with people or circumstances. This critical choice determines success or failure in life. A negative attitude will lead to unhappiness, poor relationships, difficulty at work and ultimately, poor health. The most common causes of death in the United States are heart disease and cancer, which are both related to stress. Stress is a result of a negative attitude, influenced by perceptions, choices, and actions.
Your attitude comes from within you, not from external circumstances. The key is the realization that you choose your attitude. That’s right—you purposefully choose your attitude. Choosing a positive state of mind will lead to success in your career, marriage, and life. Choosing to give thanks all year long is imperative to having a healthy outlook on life.
Choose your attitude by being mindful of the lovely things still in your life. It is a time to take inventory of your life? Do you have wonderful children? Appreciate them. Have you been blessed with a delightful home? Appreciate it. Do you have close friends? Appreciate them. Do you enjoy good health? Appreciate it. Has God drawn you close to Him and made Himself dear to you? Appreciate Him.
Everything that happens to you is allowed by God and beneficial to you. As much as we might argue against the “negative” things that happen, God has allowed everything into our lives. “All things work together for good…” (Romans 8: 28). Will you discover the benefit in your current problems? Will you choose to grow from your difficulties? Embrace your life, including your challenges, and expect wonderful things in 2018!
Here’s your Action Plan:
- Choose your attitude.
- Choose to take responsibility for your attitude and the impact it has on your life.
- Choose to focus on those aspects of your life over which you have some control.
- Choose friendships.
- Choose to dwell on positive things. (“Whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, think on those things”; Philippians 4: 8).
- Choose to make changes.
So, what specifically do you want for 2018?
---a healthier relationship? Determine to apply better communication and conflict resolution skills to your life.
---a healthier checkbook? Determine to cut back on expenses, consolidate loans or perhaps even earn more money.
---a more exciting job? Determine to enrich your current job or find the job of your dreams.
---a richer spiritual life? Determine to spend more time reading Scripture, applying Biblical principles to your life.
This is a year of new possibilities. Practice the above steps and notice the change. If you would like further help to restore brokenness in your marriage, we are here to help. Please send responses to me at [email protected] and read more about The Marriage Recovery Center on our website and learn about our Personal and Marriage Intensives as well as our newly formed Subscription Group, Thrive, for women struggling from emotional abuse.
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