Change Your Life
By: Jim O'Brien
Want to change your life? I mean change it in a positive way that is lasting. This isn't just hype, it really works-it is not difficult and it's one of the most overlooked factors in life.
A few weeks ago a family member sent a link to a TED Talk video that is one of the most inspiring presentations I've ever heard. It deals with the effect of a happy attitude on productivity. Shawn Achor, a psychology professor at Harvard University, presents a mound of research in a lecture entitled "The Happy Secret to Effective Work" showing that there is incontrovertible scientific evidence that an optimistic happy attitude makes a person more productive.
The surprising thing is how easy it is for a person to change his spirit. It is a principle repeated over and over in scripture, yet it is frequently overlooked and gives you power over your own spirit and thus your destiny.
The following are some principles that will change your life.
First, find three new things each day for which to give thanks to God. Spend two minutes every day doing this. It is a simple yet profound truth that taking two minutes a day for twenty-one consecutive days to express thanks to God will make a permanent change in your mind. Skeptical? Try it and write to me after 21 days.
Second, make a journal of the good things that have happened to you. Writing them allows you to relive them and imprints them on your mind. Some of the greatest men in history have kept a journal of such things and read them periodically over time. It's amazing what we forget if we don't put it in writing.
Third, take one short scripture a day and meditate on it for a few minutes. It is the best way to overcome the ADHD syndrome that is plaguing our culture. Meditation disciplines the mind to focus on the positive rather than succumb to fear.
Finally, express gratitude to at least one person every day. Send an email or write a card to express appreciation for something they've done.
What many Christians overlook is that God wants His family to be happy! In fact, one of the reasons God punished ancient Israel was because they forgot their blessings and focused on the negative. In Deuteronomy 28:47 God says Israel was cursed because "you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness, for the abundance of everything."
Sometimes I wonder if that isn't the case with the United States. We live in a country blessed with more abundance than any country that has ever existed, yet a segment of the population is becoming angry and resentful. We lack a grateful heart. Have we cursed ourselves?
If so, we can change. The good news is that you can take control of your spirit. It starts with giving thanks to God who has blessed us.
Until next time,
Pastor, Church of God Cincinnati
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