“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Positive Recall Bias.
In a study participants were divided into two groups and given simple instructions:
one group was asked to write down five things a day for which they were thankful;
the other group was to write down five things they would identify as a hassle or disappointments.
Each group did this for ten weeks.
The group seeking to cultivate a positive recall bias reported that over time they became attuned to notice the good both in people and in situations. Conversely, the negative recall bias group grew much more attentive to what they didn’t like in people and in situations.
Just five thoughts!
Imagine that. The simple act of recalling five positive or negative things over ten weeks impacted the daily perspective and experience of people.
Just five thoughts!
Give thanks in all circumstances. This is God’s will for you. You don’t have to wonder if it’s God’s will. You don’t have to pray to see if this is God’s will. God plainly tells us – this is my will for you!
Not only is this God’s will for us, we now have the data to prove that this is healthy for us. This is good for us.
But we already knew that God’s will for us is good for us. Right?
“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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” (Philippians 4:8).
There is nothing we can do about initial thoughts, feelings, or emotions when they happen. These thoughts, feelings, emotions come to us. Oftentimes, we are on the receiving end of thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they occur to us.
While we can’t do much about when these thoughts, feelings, or emotions come to us, we are absolutely responsible for what thoughts, feelings, or emotions we allow to dwell in us. Just because they occur doesn’t mean they need to stay. We are 100% responsible for thoughts, feelings, and emotions we allow to dwell.
The Apostle Paul tells us to “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). And in our verses of the day, the Apostle Paul tells us, “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” (Philippians 4:8).
An old Cherokee man is teaching his grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.”
“One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith…”
“The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Starve negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Feed thoughts, feelings, and emotions that honor God.