In this age of overwhelming media, it can feel like an uphill battle towards cultural reformation - with so much of the world's attention focused on instant gratification and selfishness, standing in the light of moral values is not only difficult, it can feel impossible.
It is tough to think positively with popular voices demanding our attention to their agendas and distracting messages.
Why it's important to think about good things
The good news is we have a choice. In Philippians 4:8, Paul enlightens us about what to do in these unsettling times. "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."
Frank Broughton also gives incredible advice in the form of a familiar story. "There is a famous scene in Peter Pan. Peter is in the children's bedroom; they have seen him fly; and they wish to fly too. They have tried it from the floor and they have tried it from the beds and the result is failure. "How do you do it?" John asked. And Peter answered: "You just think lovely, wonderful thoughts and they lift you up in the air." The same is true for the believer. The only way to defeat evil thoughts is to begin to think of something else."
What you think about becomes habitual
It isn't the easy, but it is something that can be done with repetition; there are hundreds of outlets to tell us how to redesign our houses, our yards, our bodies, but what about the redesigning of our minds and what we think? Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” In the words of John D. Morris, Ph.D., "Surely our lifestyle and thought patterns need adjusting as noted above, particularly when the verb tense in the command "think on these things" implies a lifelong habit--a continuous way of doing things."
1. Change your thoughts.
Judgement and blame are habits just like gratitude and happiness. Acknowledge the good things about yourself and the positive intentions you have for your family, friends and community. When you start to think of negative things, recognize it, stop yourself and think of something positive.
2. Change your media choices.
It’s easy to fall into the habit of watching the same shows that we’re used to. We don’t give much thought to how it’s wiring our minds. Much of it is biased towards empty entertainment, violence and unnecessary sexual exploitation. After watching TV you end up thinking about the programming long after it’s over. A simple solution to pointing your mind and heart towards wholesome topics, is to change the source of your entertainment. One way is to switch to choose your movie selections to Pure Flix where movies have meaning and offer great entertainment vs. NetFlix or HBO.
3. Change your music.
What music inspires you and brings you closer to the values your family cherishes? Find channels that resonate with your heart and choose them with your time and money. Lessen your exposure to messages that can derail you and might just find more peace and joy in your life.
4. Change your conversations.
Talk to people about their lives and what's meaningful to them. These conversations will get you thinking for days! Trivial conversations are never remembered and rarely create powerful bonds.PRACTICAL EXERCISE: “Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud” is a great habit to get into right before bed every night. With a loved one or friend each of you share two positive events in your day (roses), then something that bothered you (thorn), and then something you are looking forward to the next day (bud). This is a great exercise to trigger wonderful conversations with the people closest to you.
5. Change your attitude.
Your brain is built to scan the world for problems to solve. This human trait kept us alive and helped us survive. However, it’s also one of the main reasons many of us are miserable. Recognize that it’s ok to have negative thoughts sometimes, but that your brain is built to focus on the negative. It’s up to you to reprogram your mind to see and focus on the positive. Positive people are less likely to fall back into poor habits.
6. Change your focus from getting to giving.
Try this. Buy the coffee or tea for the person behind you in line. That elated feeling you get is real. Studies have shown that giving makes us happy and improves overall well-being. By seeking out these opportunities to give, we create love in the world and hope in those whom we give to.
7. Change your language praise and uplift others.
The language we use can bring out the best or the worst in people. As Christians, we must always understand the responsibility we have to not only ourselves and our families, but to our neighbors to help them towards salvation. Pay attention to how we speak to our friends and family. Do we praise them, or put them down? Words are Powerful, be mindful of how you are helping to bring those around you closer to or away from God.
Your Great Habits
This list of habits is by no means complete. Your insights and wisdom may just be the key to encouraging and helping some fellow brethren in his/her spiritual journey. We invite you to share your experiential wisdom for living a purpose driven life. Become a member of the Pure Flix Digital Streaming Service today. and start enjoying thousands of Christian and family-friendly originals, movies, TV shows, and educational programming online anytime, from virtually anywhere, on any device, FREE for a month.