Summary: Probably nothing can contribute more to the quality of our lives than a positive attitude. And yet, sometimes it is so easy for us to become critical. And we end up focusing on the negatives. (Powerpoints Available - #225)
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #225.)
This morning I want to talk about two passages of Scripture & “Developing a Positive Attitude in a Negative World.”
A. Probably nothing can contribute more to the quality of our lives than a positive attitude. And yet, sometimes it is so easy for us to become critical. And we end up focusing on the negatives.
ILL. It’s like the wife who bought her husband 2 new neckties. He was so appreciative that he immediately went to his room & put one of them on. Then he came out to show it to her. She took one look at him wearing the new tie & said, “What’s the matter? Don’t you like the other one?”
Please realize also that in talking about “Developing a Positive Attitude” I’m not talking about looking through rose-colored glasses & deciding that everything is just fine. There are many things wrong with our world.
But, yes, there are people who find something good in almost every situation, no matter how negative it might be.
ILL. Have you heard about the older gentleman who was admitted into the nursing home? Four ladies instantly took notice of him, & welcomed him. The first one said, “You’re new here, aren’t you?” And he answered, “Yes, I am.”
The 2nd lady asked, “Where were you before you came here?” He answered, “Well, I’ve been in prison for the last 20 years.” The 3rd one said, “Twenty years? Why were you in prison for 20 years?” He answered, “I killed my wife.”
The 4th lady said, “Oh good! That means you’re single, doesn’t it?”
SUM. If you look hard enough, you can find something positive in almost everything. But I’m not talking about that kind of Pollyanna attitude this morning.
B . Rather, I’m talking about being realistic, realizing that in the midst of all the negatives there is still much that is good in the world, in the church, & in our lives. And we need to focus our attention & energy on what is good.
Listen to the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8, “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.”
Now that’s positive! He says, “…whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy…” “You think about those things.”
Solomon said, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 KJV). So the things that dominate your thinking, those things control the words you speak, the attitudes you have, & the way you react to others.
C. Now, in 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul talks about the 2nd Coming of Jesus. He tells them that “One of these days the skies will open, the trumpet will blow, you’ll hear the voice of the archangel, & you’ll see Jesus in all His glory. Graves will be opened, & we’ll all be caught up with the Lord in the air.”