RUSS HOBBS MINISTRIES
“ARE WE JUST SUPPOSE TO THINK POSITIVELY?”
I’m calling this one, my Tina Zartman message! We have a dear friend who has worked with us for years. Throughout the years one of her biggest gripes and annoyances has been coping with negative people who are often cruel and unkind!
A definition for positive thinking is “the act of reviewing thought processes in order to identify areas that need improvement, and then using the appropriate tools to change those thoughts in a positive, goal-oriented way.” Of course, thinking positively is not wrong. The problem associated with “positive thinking” is in believing that there is some kind of supernatural power in positive thinking. In this age of rampant false doctrine and watered-down theology, the power of positive thinking has stood out as one of the more popular errors. False doctrines are similar in that they are human ideas masquerading as the truth. One such human idea is the power of positive thinking.
The idea of the power of positive thinking was popularized by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale in his book The Power of Positive Thinking (1952). According to Peale, people can change future outcomes and events by “thinking” them into existence. The power of positive thinking promotes self-confidence and faith in oneself; it leads naturally to a false belief in the “law of attraction,” as Peale wrote. In The Power of Positive Thinking, Peale used certain religious concepts and subjective psychological theories to advance his own version of faith and hope. His theory is part of the “self-help” movement whereby a person tries to create his own reality with human effort, proper mental images, and willpower. But reality is truth, and the truth is found in the Bible. People cannot create their own reality by fantasizing or thinking it into existence. Peale’s theory is flawed because he did not base it on truth.
Every good gift is from God above (James 1:17), not from the power of positive thinking. The best gift of all is the indwelling Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). The Bible says that man is not “good” on his own (Isaiah 64:6). The only good in us comes from the righteousness of Jesus Christ applied to our account (Ephesians 2:1–5; Philippians 3:9).
If we want to better ourselves and make positive changes, we need to have more than the power of positive thinking. True spirituality will always start and end with our relationship to Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who is the key to changing one’s life, not our thoughts, and not our effort alone. As we actively yield to the Spirit, He will transform us.
In short, thinking positively is NOT all wrong! But, just thinking positively does not automatically change negative people hell bent on making the lives of others miserable with their short-sighted and hurtful ways. ONLY God can change the heart of a man or woman and put them on the path of redemption, healing and hope. Thanks Tina for your positive outlook and hope in Jesus Christ to change the destiny of troubled souls.