Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. - Philippians 4:8 NIV
This verse has always been a "get your mind focused on the good things and not your circumstances" verse for me. For instance, I turn to that verse to combat the disappointment of coming home from church as I did today wishing I could discuss my "aha" moments from the sermon with someone who could understand. I also turn to that verse when I see some "Christian" teaching that is not even biblical being embraced by Christians who don't know it is not biblical. God provided these wise words so that we could protect our hearts from perpetual pessimism and live peacefully and joyfully through all circumstances of life. I am thankful for the reminder to think on the good things and keep an eternal perspective, knowing that God and His good ways eventually win over evil.
My question is, can we take optimism too far? When does "looking on the bright side" give way to victory by the dark side? When does that optimism turn into oblivion, where we keep our heads in the sand because it just isn't politically or maybe even "spiritually" correct to raise an awareness of life as it is, with all of its imperfectness?
I suppose that the solution is to have a balanced "attack" by keeping our eyes open to reality but also keeping our minds grounded in the knowledge of the truth of the Bible and whatever is excellent or praiseworthy. Being a servant of God is definitely a balancing act, but God is always ready to steady us if we ask Him to.
For further thought:
1) What unpleasant truth are you trying to ignore in your life or in the world around you?
2) What is holding you back from facing that truth?
3) What needs to be done about it to make your world a better place? What do you feel God calling you to do about it?
Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them. For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.