Saturday, February 09, 2013
Do I believe in Positive thinking?
Do you mean do I believe in denying that my body is screaming in pain and telling myself that in truth I am just fine?
Do you mean convincing myself that by stating a few positive affirmations aloud I will create a new, more beneficial reality?
Do you mean looking only at what is good and totally pretending that all that is evil and foul in the world does not exist and has no power to harm me?
In those cases a firm and emphatic "NO" is my response.
In my book all of those things are antithetical to truth and therefore must be rejected as lies
Finally, brothers, 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).
The above verse has been the scriptural poster child for positive thinking. However there is a clunker in that theology....and it lies in the very first statement. "Whatever is TRUE." If you ask me 9/10s of positive thinking is just reiterating to oneself fallacy. Pure falsehood. LIES.
When I am struggling and in pain and some rainbow-brained positive thinker comes along and tells me just to believe in the good and that somehow the power of the bad will be drained away and it will no longer have the ability to hurt me I just want to shake them until their teeth rattle.
And all of the rainbows and lollipops in the world are not going to change that.
God never ever instructs us to deny truth in order to get what we want. He never denies the hurt of our pain. He never giggles in the face of grief. But he does promise that evil will be overcome by good, that Love will in the end prevail, that somewhere in the midst of our heartache he will work benefit for us. And he tells us to focus our minds on these thoughts..On those truths.
There is a slight difference that is the Grand Canyon span away from what positive thinkers believe. They believe that by denying what is true we can create another reality for ourselves. And what God tells us is that by looking at reality through the lens of truth we see that Goodness Love, Mercy and Joy still exist and are still ours to experience. He tells us that the bad guy will not win and that the pain will not last forever. THIS IS TRUTH. and he wants us to fill our minds with that. The difference is deceptively small and ominously large.
Never ever sacrifice truth for a "truth" you want to believe or hope to create. Never deny the power of pain because to do so slaps the sufferer right in the face. The Bible says "A bruised reed he will not break" and "a smoking flax he will not snuff out." God does not promise to eradicate all our pain....but he DOES promise to stand by us in the midst of it. He knows it because he has experienced it. He took it on himself for me and you so that when we groan in agony he can say "I know; I've been there" These are the truths he wants us to focus on...Not some cotton candy pie in the sky denial of pain. When I was in the ER SCREAMING in agony with a dislocated hip what comforted me? It was the verse in Ps. 22 that "all his joints were out of joint." The knowledge that Jesus had been through that same exact agony comforted my heart like nothing else could
Truth: He defeated pain and suffering by going through it and coming out on the other side.
Truth: One day we too will come out on the other side and it will no longer hurt.
Truth; right now, it hurts. And right now he embraces us and says gently " I know".