VIDEO: FAITH: Looking at the power of our mind, thinking, and attitude
‘Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.’
Philippians 4:4-9 NLT
I have mentioned this passage to you, the reader, several times over the past couple of years. As well, I have shared before of my fondness for inspiring and motivational quotes. What continues to be a tension in my mind and spirit is the battle for supremacy of my attitude, which whether I like it or not truly influences the trajectory of life.
A valued mentor of mine recently shared this quote by W. Clement Stone: “Success is achieved by those who try and keep trying with a positive mental attitude.”
At some level, this contrasts a bit to this quote by Albert Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
I have experienced some amazing success in my life, while honestly the whole of my adult life, specifically my vocation life, has been mostly unsuccessful when judged by industry “standards.” One of the great dangers in the process of judging success is when we judge our experiences and outcomes by the experiences, outcomes, and “success” of others. As much as we try, or as much as I have tried, successful outcomes have multiple layers of complicated variables which often are completely out of our control and can lead to less than desired end results. Now as I wrote that sentence and as those of you who are much more successful than I have been read it, it would be normal to respond: “sounds like a statement or belief an unsuccessful person may say to cover up failure.
Let’s assume however success can be achieved by continuing to try in the midst of a positive attitude. What seems to be part of the process of success is the commitment to keep trying, to not giving up. A positive mental attitude is paramount to continuing to look ahead and move forward, even in the face of failure and defeat. Maybe Einstein’s view of insanity needs to stay in the field of science and physics, and allow for the possibility of success to happen, even when we continue to do the same thing hoping for successful results. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”
Paul reminds us in Philippians 4 of the power of our mind, thinking, and attitude. When we keep our mind away from the negativity of this world, especially those which are evil and sinful, we actually give ourselves the best opportunity to succeed. When we have our mind in the attitude of success, we are more able and apt to have joy, which in my opinion is one of the greatest bits of success available to us in this life.
Will my vocational life ever show itself to be successful? Maybe not, probably not, but that is not going to keep me from trying. The reality remains, when those who believe in Christ get to see him face to face one day, our success, or in many of our cases our lack of success, will not matter in correlation to the fact we are sitting at the feet of Jesus. You are Valued and Loved, Pastor Brad
Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.