“So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.”
2 Corinthians 5:9-10 (NLT)
Our circumstances affect every aspect of our lives. When our circumstances are more positive, our lives tend to be healthier — when our circumstances are less positive, our lives tend to be unhealthier.
So, how do we battle this reality?
The answer lies in our choices. Our everyday choices to do – or not do certain things and our choice of focus, attitude, and outlook — regardless of our circumstances. Very often, our choices are the very reason we’re in our circumstances in the first place. Therefore, it’s very important we choose wisely at all times. Choices are easier to make when we fully understand our options and fully grasp the consequences – both positive and negative.
So, how do we make better choices?
Experience is a beneficial consideration when making decisions and choices. If you are like me, you’ve learned many lessons through the years, some of them the hard way, and at least a few you will never forget. But, in addition to gaining personal experience, we can also gain experience by learning from the successes and failures of others. If we seek wise counsel and turn to godly – experienced people for advice, we gain beneficial information that ultimately helps us make better choices.
“So let us discern for ourselves what is right;
let us learn together what is good.”
Job 34:4 (NLT)
Even if we have made poor choices in the past that have resulted in negative circumstances, we still have the ability to choose what our focus, attitude, and outlook will be today and going forward.
A few years back, I faced a family crisis. During my difficult time, I experienced moments of hopelessness, brokenness, and despair. Honestly, there were times when no matter how hard I tried to maintain a positive focus, attitude, and outlook, I simply couldn’t muster up the strength.
During my struggle, I learned there is something I “can do”that will directly influence the way I cope with my circumstances.
- I learned to “fix my eyes on Christ, the author and perfecter of my faith,”
- I learned that even in the midst of the most difficult of times, I can still choose to focus on things I am thankful for, and
- I learned I can still choose to have a positive outlook and attitude for my future, even when my current circumstances are less than desirable.
Together, let’s choose to make more informed decisions — choose to focus on the promises of God — and choose a more positive outlook by incorporating the following steps into our everyday lives.
- “Focus” on the eternal over the temporary.
“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT)
- Choose a positive “Attitude,” trusting God guide you.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)
- Choose to have a positive “Outlook,” placing your hope and faith in God’s ability to take care of your future.
“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6
What focus, outlook, and attitude will you strive to have today?