faith, Positive thinking No Comments

     Tommy Newberry gives an interesting assessment of the type of thinking that destroys joy in his book, The 4:8 Principle.  The book is based upon Philippians 4:8 and stresses positive thinking over negative thinking.  Under the heading, Head Games,he mentions RAT’s (really awful thoughts).  RAT’s terrorize your potential for joy (p. 107).  He then lists some of these negative thinking patterns.
     –Amplifiers.  Amplifiers magnify unpleasant situations with words like: always, never, no one, every time, etc.  These words are distortions of the truth and pervert perceptions. 
     –Feelers.  Feelers accept negative feelings as true without questioning them.  Feelings are no substitute for the truth.  When feelings are based upon perverted perceptions the result is negative conduct.
     –Guessers.  Guessers pretend they know what other people are thinking, and then they assume the worse ahead of time (p. 107).  This fuels negativity.
     –Exaggerators.  Exaggerators transform mole hills into mountains.  They use words like horrible, worst, ruined, shocked, stunned, devastated, and outraged.  They, too, distort reality.
     –Identifiers.  Indentifiers inject harmless events with personal meaning.  They overestimate how an event is related to them.  They take things too personally and interpret negative events as personal attacks.
     –Forecasters.  Forecasters predict worst case scenarios.  They are the doom and gloom group.
     –Cynics.  Cynics find what is wrong even if it is the only thing wrong! (p. 108).  Despite the good, they use their mental radar to see the bad.
     –Blamers.  Blamers point the finger at someone else for their own problems.  Blaming others liberates them from personal responsibility for their attitudes and actions.
     –Justifiers.  Justifiers remind themselves of all the reasons why they are entitled to feel negative emotions or have a negative outburst. (p. 109).
     These RATs must be eliminated from our thinking if we are going to experience the joy that God intends for our lives.  Joy is “an outward sign of inward faith in God’s promises” (p. 42).  Joy is connected to spiritual relationship with God.  If there is no spiritual connection with God, then there can be no real joy.  “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice”  (Phil. 4:4).