Devotion written by Jamie Sicairos
Think on These Things:
Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Anytime someone is going through a trial, heartache or expressing a need they need positive reinforcement. In fact often when you hear someone share a burden on social media a common response more and more is the new catch phrase, “positive thoughts.” What exactly does that mean? Well that all depends on who you ask but I will tell you what I believe it means and how Christians should respond in these circumstances.
It means I am trying to be “politically correct.”
More and more we live in a culture that is trying to be politically correct in anything we say or do. Yet the bible says that what we say or do and even put into our bodies should be to the glory of God.
1Co 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Sadly, many Christians today don’t even want to bow their head in prayer in a public restaurant for fear of backlash. Now, in our social media addicted society we can’t even say, “I’m praying for you.” Friends, in the middle of a bad circumstance or trial is the best time to give positive reinforcement to a non-believer or suffering Christian. Let us not worry so much if someone will be offended because we mentioned prayer or gave a scripture reference that is relevant to the situation. Let’s worry more about being biblically correct than politically correct. I also do not mean we should use this as an opportunity to be “preachy.” Use discretion but don’t be afraid to use biblical principles to give positive reinforcement.
What is Positive Reinforcement?
By positive reinforcement, I am speaking of what the bible says we should emphasize. A quick analysis of the above text speaks of many important principles. It speaks of not worrying about the little things, it speaks of prayer, it speaks of the peace of God, it reminds us God is control, and commands us to focus on the positive not the negative where it concludes, “think on these things.” Furthermore, it evens tells us in detail what we should think about. Christians I can positively tell you that prayer works. I can tell you with confidence that the bible is true. I can tell you with assurance I know what Jesus did for me. I can tell you how God hand has been in my life through difficult, unpleasant and even lonely times. This is what I consider real positive reinforcement. So, the next time someone is asking for “positive thoughts” don’t be afraid to give the biblical thoughts. Maybe it’s not appropriate to engage in long conversation on social media but maybe it’s helpful to tell that friend that you will be praying for them, possibly share a quick scripture reference and then follow through. By follow through I mean you should pray for them. Secondly, you should follow up with them directly and ask how they are doing or how you can help.
Don’t be censored
Friends it’s a matter of principle. The bigger picture is not just about the expression in question but whether we are going to allow society tell us what we can and can’t say. Are we going to let culture tell us we can’t speak of spiritual solutions to life’s problems? Are we content with “positive vibes?” (I want to insert an eye roll here) No, give me something biblical. Send me a devotional. Build a wall of prayer around me. Adrian Rodgers said, “I will be civil but I won’t be silent.” Christians, let’s speak out of love with biblical boldness.
Ac 14:3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hand
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: