Positive Spiritual Attitude
We are all familiar with the phrase Positive Mental Attitude made famous by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone, Norman Vincent Peale and others. There can be no argument that these are sound principles which are taught and have been universally tried and proved. However, it might be well for us to think on these things from a biblical or spiritual perspective. For example, one of the sayings of PMA is, “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, he can achieve”, it is a matter of thinking, if you think you can, you can. The process here is from within a man or woman. Now it is true that what a person thinks affects who they are and what they do. The Bible teaches us, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) and it is from what is on the inside of a man that comes out, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” (Mt. 15:18-19). The proponents of PMA would agree and do quote from Proverbs. However, I would respond to the above quote with, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13). Now the source of the ability to do is through Christ rather than from the mind of man. In all fairness the PMA movement does refer to God and to His grace such as, “Day by day, in every way, through the grace of God, I am getting better and better.” This series of articles is not intended to argue with or even replace the teachings of PMA, but rather supplement them with the teachings of Scripture, to place more of an emphasis upon the Word of God, the working of the Holy Spirit and the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
This might beg the question of why bother, or what’s the point? In my 69 years I have seen two things that exist among Christians. The first is a false kind of humility, an ongoing tirade about how we are nothing but wretched sinners saved by the grace of God. Yes, that is true, we were wretched sinners, dead in trespasses and sins and the grace and mercy of God pulled us up out of the terrible pit and saved us. Please note, that is all past tense, it is what God did for us and for what we were, that is not what we are now. In the next lesson, I am going to submit arguments for what we are now and ask what should we be putting on display to the world. The second, is the Christian army is the only one that shoots its own wounded. There is so much pettiness, hurt feelings, bruised egos, behind the back slander going on that it is no wonder that unbelievers speak of the church as a place full of hypocrites. Christians are far more well known for what they are against than for what they are for. In following lessons, I am going to argue for a better way and for a positive way to make a stand for the things that are holy, rather than punch someone in the nose (emotionally) and then tell them how much we love them.