It is an established truth that the key to success, in any aspect of our lives, is to remove the negative thoughts and replace them with positive mental reinforcements. William James, a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” The fact is we are what we think we are. So if we are not what we want to be, or what we should be, we can actually make our lives over by reprocessing our attitudes and thought patterns.
One the wall of my home gym, next to the treadmill, is a list of seven positive motivational expressions to keep me focused on my physical fitness goals. As I was repeating these things to myself one day I thought of the great spiritual application that could be made from each of these seven points. Paul wrote, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).
Now, before we talk about attitude and reprogramming our thoughts for better spiritual and physical health we need to address two important things. First, we have to get rid of the junk food (physically and spiritually) and fill our bodies with good food and plenty of water. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Secondly, we have to get up and get moving! Exercising our bodies as well as our godliness. Then if we combine these efforts with some attitude adjustments we will make great strides in our physical and spiritual well-being.
Point #1 – I’m not fat; I’m losing weight and building muscle. I am not a sinner weighted down with the burden guilt. I once was lost in sin but now I am justified in my obedience and faith in Christ and the grace of God (Romans 6:17; Ephesians 2:8-9). Every day, as I study, serve, and worship God I become stronger.
Point #2 – I’m not lazy; I’m taking energetic steps toward getting stronger. As I put my past behind me and press on I make great strides in strengthening my spiritual life.
Point #3 – I’m not overwhelmed; I’m in the daily creative process of eating right and learning about myself. This life we live is sometimes hectic to the point of bringing us to our knees with discouragement. But in Christ I am able to overcome any obstacle and learn more about what I am able to bear and do.
Point #4 – I’m not anxious and impatient; I have the rest of my life to get better and better, day-by-day. One is not made a perfect individual the day they obey the gospel. But we are saved and given all we need to make us perfect in Christ through God’s Word. We sing the song “One Step At A Time” and that is truly what will get us through this life. Patience and hope in Christ.
Point #5 – I’m not fearful; I’m strengthening my body, mind, and spirit. As a child of God I have nothing to fear. God has made us the crowning glory of His creation and cares for us above all things. So much so that he sent His Son to die for us. As a result Jesus says, “Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).
Point #6 – I’m not a lost cause; I’m braver and smarter, stronger and more toned today than yesterday. Many people think that they are not worthy of heaven or salvation. But God says you are! “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Each day as a faithful child of God helps me appreciate God’s love that much more.
Point #7 – I’m living a joyful, more intelligent and grateful life forever.