There’s a great epidemic that takes place in the world today! It is not technically a disease, though it behaves like one. It is not in the category of a plague, but tends to plague good folks on a regular basis. It is extremely common, normal and ordinary, yet in reality should be uncommon, abnormal and highly irregular! Although it appears to come from our interactions with society, it really comes from within and is something we do to ourselves. Most of the time it has absolutely no value, though it may be disguised as altruistic, humble or honest. It does not lead to better behavior; improved functioning or greater strength, in fact, it leads to just the opposite! What is it you ask? It is people’s incessant, unrelenting focus on “what is wrong with themselves.”
If you think really think about it, no-one has ever become a confident successful person by continually focusing on the things that are wrong with them, have they? When you are raising children it is very easy to spot the many, many things they are doing incorrectly. They are children, for goodness sakes! Yet, if you only ever correct their error and invest no time in building them up; highlighting their strengths; pointing out their qualities, they grow up into insecure, nervous, creatures that are convinced they are never quite right; never quite deserving of good things and that their own opinions are never to be completely trusted! Absent some good, old-fashioned, deliberate change of mentality, they are destined to become failures in life. Because they do things incorrectly? No! Because their focus is failure and error and mistakes and you can only get those things you focus on most consistently. For them to receive otherwise would require God to change the entire laws of the universe! It has been said that we should offer ten positives for every negative we offer to our children. Maybe we should offer the same to ourselves. There’s nothing altruistic, humble or honest about dwelling on everything that is not quite right about you! In fact, such a mindset is insulting to the heart of the great Creator that made you! Would you consider it logical to conclude that every successful person you have ever met had somehow ceased to make mistakes just prior to achieving success? Really? Here’s an earth-shattering newsflash for you! Most of us humanoids are basically the same in that we have some good, some bad, some virtue, some evil… Naturally we seek more of the good, more of the virtuous and less of the bad and way less of the evil! Naturally!
So, how can we find more of the good and way less of the evil? We find it by shifting our focus. Dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light (said a wonderful man once!) In other words (because I know you like other words) no amount of wrestling in the darkness makes it get lighter, not now, not ever! Wrestling in the darkness just leads to more and more and more darkness! How could it do otherwise? The simplest way to get rid of darkness in a hurry is to flick on a light! A very small amount of light gets rid of a large amount of darkness….booms quick! Incessant focus on what is wrong with you is WRESTLING WITH THE DARKNESS! (Yelling intended-with a smile) Or said another way (yes another, another way) – strength leads to strength and weakness leads to weakness! Focus on your strong areas leads to the development of more strong areas (and inspires confidence) while focusing on your weak areas leads to more weak areas (and destroys confidence).
Here are some Bible verses as healthy food for thought…
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12 :21
Don’t spend any time fighting evil with evil (and perpetual dwelling on what is wrong with you IS evil!) Instead overcome evil with good (just some good thoughts). How about this one?
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by (YOU) changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. ~ Romans 12:2 NIV
Remember I told you that dwelling on what is wrong with you is common, normal and ordinary. However, it is not correct! Doing so just forces you to be conformed to this world with all of its misery, its negatives, its problems! That, my friends, is not what God had in mind for you. Life isn’t supposed to be hard, arduous, and difficult with meager victories and even more meager successes. Life is supposed to be an exciting adventure where you believe God to overcome all of the evil and negativity that is being forced down your throat day after day, month after month, year after year! Decide to break out of that pattern by changing the way you think! Refused to allow that disease into your mind! Shake free from that plague that has been plaguing you! Change the way you think!
The only sound way to think is to dwell upon what is RIGHT about you. Focus on the things you do well. Sure, you may need to modify and adjust your thoughts and behaviors from time to time, but that continual cataloging of what is wrong with you is just plain evil (or by its other name ~ bondage). This is why I continue to be an advocate speaking out against religion (not a relationship with God – religion!) The focus of religion will always be what man is doing and not doing and then trying to control man to do what __________ (insert religious group here) says to do. Christianity is the polar opposite. Another great man recently said, “I believe the opposite of love is legalism, not hatred!” Legalism is code for all the behaviors one must engage in to gain God’s favor and approval. The truth is that God has already made us lovely and acceptable in Christ Jesus and our job is to simply change our minds about who we are! Dwell on the good things, the things God has done for you and for Lord’s sake get your mind off yourself and what is wrong with you!
Do you want to be a great person! Do you want to taste success and victory (or even better live, breathe and sleep in success and victory)? Do you want to be happy, confident, at ease, lovable and dynamic? Do you want to break out of the negative habit patterns of evil and get into habit patterns of that good and acceptable and perfect will of God? Then change your mind and feed it with good, wholesome, healthy food. Feed it by focusing on all that makes you the wonderful person you are and leave the fault-finding to the critical majority.
So, what’s wrong with you? Nothing at all, my friends, nothing at all…