How's your PMA?
That was the question my kids were asked at sports camps repeatedly. The coaches knew that to succeed they needed a positive mental attitude. This was the key to confidence. Confidence led to success.
For years teachers and men like Norman Vincent Peale, Zig Ziglar and many others have exhorted people to think positive. Dr Peale sold 20 million copies of the Power of Positive Thinking. Many others have written personal growth books and hold seminars.
Way before any of these the Bible was exhorting us to personal growth and a good PMA. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Solomon wrote in proverbs 18; "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Like many of the eastern wisdom sayings found in the Bible, our first response may be a "Huh???" However, we need to realize that we have the ability to speak life and death. Out of the same mouth flow good and bad, blessing and cursing. It is the power of the tongue.
God exhorts us in many places to harness our emotions and to get control of what we speak. In a culture where negative and fear based speech is at epidemic levels, this is a challenge. One thing to think about is why are we having the emotional reaction? What is it revealing about me? Am I angry because I am afraid? Do I feel like I am losing control? Are my verbal responses building my anger or frustration?
Thinking before we speak is much harder then it sounds. We are culturally imprinted with the desire to win, to respond, to be first. Our emotions release hormones that affect our thinking and can heighten, or dull our responses.
So often we will say things we regret. The Bible encourages us to seek forgiveness in these instances. The reason is it helps to break the power of those words. Today, science has helped us to understand many of God's requirements. Bitterness really does dry the bones; laughter really is like a medicine. You can redirect your emotions with your words.
Giving thanks in everything does not mean to thank God for everything that happens to you. It is saying in the midst of the struggles of life find your way to a position of gratitude. Find the things you can still be thankful for. Put on praise like a garment and change your attitude.
The healthier your soul is, the healthier your body is. Your auto-immune system responds better with a good PMA. The less guilt, shame, and anger you have the healthier you will be. This is all very practical. What is amazing is way before we had a clue God had already written it down for us. That is something to be thankful for!
Reverend Robert Reasner is Senior Pastor at Abundant Life Assembly of God, 32940 Sterling Highway, Sterling 262-7266 www.abundantlifealaska.org
Service Schedule: Sundays, 8:45 a.m. Christian education for all ages, 10 a.m. morning worship, 10 a.m. children's church, 6 p.m. evening worship; Wednesdays, 7 p.m. upsidedown youth events.
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