Focus: Positive Thinking
Colossians 3:12-13 (NIV) Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
The Power of Positive Thinking is a book that has influenced millions of people in their search for a happier, more stable emotional state. The book was written by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a man who practiced what he preached. Dr. Peale became an icon, as his witty, but practical recommendations to everyday people went around the world.
Now, you can listen and/or read!
In his lifetime, Peale wrote 46 books. His radio program called, The Art of Living, aired for 54 years. He told presidents, business executives, and millions of other people that a proper state of mind, induced by simple prayer, could produce spiritual and material success on earth. He demonstrated the truth of his philosophy by becoming a wealthy man. Following the Great Depression and World War II, many people were more than ready to follow Dr. Peale’s thinking.
Peale didn’t set out to become a wealthy man—he set out to make a difference—and wealth followed him.
It is very safe to say that Dr. Norman Vincent Peale lived a life devoted to encouraging people. He was a firm believer in the things he wrote and spoke about. Peale challenged people to think positive thoughts and speak positive words.
This man’s messages affected the world and Dr. Peale became known as the initiator of ‘positive thinking’.
Not everyone can be a Norman Vincent Peale, but let’s think about the power of this one man’s lifetime contribution. It’s impossible to calculate the number of persons who received hope and encouragement from reading one of his books or listening to him on the radio.
Dr. Peale probably didn’t know the extent his messages would reach when he started out. Certainly, he didn’t anticipate the success he would eventually attain when he agreed to pastor the dwindling congregation of just 200, at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. It was his enthusiasm and confidence in the pulpit that attracted people and grew his church membership to more than 5,000.
His concepts were like a paycheck to people who were struggling to survive in a very unstable economy. In a country recovering from the ravages of war, what he had to say was what people desperately needed to hear. He told them they could make it, that by expecting more—they’d get more, and that when you pray for anyone you tend to modify your personal attitude about them.
What if this man had believed the criticism he received about his small stature when he was a boy in school? What if he had allowed the comments made by a high school teacher who called him “a weak willy-nilly” to sink in and make him bitter? Peale admitted he had reacted with anger until he realized the teacher was right. Throughout his career, he would readily admit he had to push himself beyond his self-doubt.
Norman Vincent Peale turned his insecurities into fuel for his fire. He used his own feelings of inferiority to foster an ongoing persistent determination in the face of opposition throughout his entire life. Instead of giving up on himself—he promoted thoughts like: ‘Change your thoughts and you change your world.’ ‘It’s always too early to quit.’ ‘Four things for success: work and pray, think and believe.’ ‘You will never be spiritually blessed until you forgive. This is a basic spiritual law. Goodwill cannot flow toward you unless it flows from you.’
You may have memories of unkind, negative words said about you in your past that you haven’t been able to forget. There could be circumstances that would cause you to question your future. You could let these things dominate your mind—or you could make the decision to turn your negatives into positives—just like Norman Vincent Peale.
There is a world of material available on the power of positive thinking and how it can change your life. Philippians 4:8 tells us to focus on things that are true, respectable, honest, clean, wonderful, good, and praiseworthy…in other words, things that are ‘positive’.
Your future is as bright as the promises of God. His plan for you is good and should fill you with hopeful expectation. It’s all up to you. You can back off or buck up. You can slow down or speed up. You can get bitter—or better.
Declaration: I will find new strength by embracing the wealth of positive material available to read and listen to. I will think positive thoughts and speak positive words about myself and others.
The information provided in this blog post was based on, “Norman Vincent Peale”, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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