Choosing to Not Think About Negative Things

Choosing to Not Think About Negative Things - Grace Fox

Oh, how easy it is to focus on negative stuff: We regurgitate conversations that irked us. We worry about the “what-ifs.” We get stuck in “if-only.”

Oh, how easy it is to focus on negative stuff: We regurgitate conversations that irked us. We worry about the “what-ifs.” We get stuck in “if-only.” We anticipate the worst outcome rather than expect the best. And then we wonder why we lack joy and peace.

Earlier today a friend and I walked a back street in Kathmandu. The road itself left much to be desired. We dodged rocks and potholes and mud puddles. When we reached the end of the road, we stumbled upon a pile of red bricks topped by a rusty something-or-other. Several stray dogs napped nearby.

Beauty amidst the mess

The scene resembled countless others in this city but with one exception. Behind the corrugated fence sat a tiered flowerbed—a touch of beauty amidst the mess. My friend and I, deep in conversation and focused on not twisting our ankles on the rocky roadway, nearly missed it.

I couldn’t help but wonder how often I miss beauty because I’m focused on the negative. Rather than expecting God to answer my prayers in His best way and time, I worry about all the things that might hinder Him from working as I wish He would.

Rather than asking God to bless those with whom I might not see eye-to-eye, I waste energy second-guessing what they meant when they said such-and-such. And rather than praise God in my heart as I go throughout my day, I tend to mentally rehash matters hurtful or disappointing.

Can you relate, or am I the only one who struggles in this way?

Today’s street scene was like a gentle reminder from the Lord:

“Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8).

The writer of this verse continued,

“Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).

“Thank You, Lord. Lesson received. And in the process of being applied—again.”

I choose to not focus on the negative. Rather, I choose to focus on the good and the lovely and the beautiful. I want to live a life that brings a smile to my Father’s face.

How about you?

Will you join me in my resolve?

Know you are loved,


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    1. Hi Mari-Ellen. Thanks for stopping by. I love how the Lord gives visual aids to help us remember life’s lessons. I believe our walk down this road (which was a last-minute, random decision) was God-directed so He could impress this scene on me.

  1. I want my life to be pleasing in God’s sight. I want to help, and not hurt.

    Let us magnify the Lord together. Let us beautify the world.

    Let’s not condemn ourselves when we do make mistakes. An inanimate
    object doesn’t make mistakes. We who dare to live life on the journey and path God gave us……we make the mistakes, and it shows that we are at least attempting to do good in the world, and we’re not perfect; no, not one. But God is with us, and he loves us so much……the Bible says, more than a brother, sister or mother can love us. Be comforted, brave ones!!!!!!

    1. Marge, thanks for sharing these thoughts! I love what you said–“An inanimate object doesn’t make mistakes.” So true. We can’t let the fear of making mistakes hinder us from living fully and freely. God is our strength, our peace, our joy. He gives grace to the humble and forgiveness to those who ask.

  2. Wow, Philippians 4:8-9 is so powerful, Thank you Grace for such a reminder of this verse by your devotional I found this evening. I am determined to commit it to memory!
    The Word of God is definitely a sword for us to fight the enemy, as he trys to keep us staying in negative thoughts. (Don’t have reference right off.)
    I was really struggling tonight with such sorrow and sadness again over my lost daughters, and often more so lately, I had mentioned prior post, so this was music to my ears, a precious reminder, a soothing ointment to my weary soul.
    There is a book entitled “Girls With Swords”. I haven’t read it, but just think the title incaptures soo much, imagine if we ” really ” used our spiritual weapons and had been taught early on to….hmmm.
    This flesh always works against us, and the enemy, seems a constant battle to me.
    I heard Pastor Jack Graham say recently we. (((( must keep )))) our eyes on Jesus, these days are hard, then we won’t sink ….or miss the beauty that is around us, as your beautiful post I loved, said.
    Back to “think on these things” right? Thank you Grace for being a marvelous instrument that God uses to help others do just that!
    I really love and appreciate your honesty in your writings too, that’s very refreshing to the soul too!

    1. Hi Dara. I’m so thankful that you’re finding these blog posts helpful. Writing them always reinforces the lessons Jesus is teaching me at the time. We’re all on this faith journey together 🙂

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