11.7.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Positive Thoughts

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Today’s topic is about “positive energy” and “good vibes” and the topic was inspired by a book that was posted in a Facebook group I follow (Avid Fans of Christian Fiction). In this group, as the name implies, we talk about Christian fiction. Someone posted a picture of a book called “Positive Vibes.” I found the name and description to be a bit odd in the context of this page so I looked it up. As I suspected, it has nothing to do with Christian fiction.

After I got over being annoyed at group members who can’t honor the point of the group, I decided to look the book up and read what it’s about. I get it. Positive thinking. Nothing wrong with that. Philippians 4:8 encourages us to focus on positive thoughts. My concern was that there was zero mention of God in the book’s description. And if you’re going to promote an out-of-genre book in a group that celebrates Christian literature, at least make sure it’s a Christian book.

I do believe our thoughts have power. I believe that when you listen to depressing messages, it takes a toll on our mental well-being, just as I know from experience that praise music can lift a bad mood and change a perspective. But I think there’s a fine line that Christians need to keep in mind. The phrases “positive energy,” “good vibes,” “positive thoughts,” and others—the intent is good. But without keeping our positive focus rooted in God, then they are just words. And in some cases, the theories start to get very unbiblical.

To be honest, I cringe when I hear the phrase, “I’m sending you positive thoughts!” Why can’t we just say, “I’m praying for you”? After all—positive thoughts are just wishes. Another person’s positive thoughts aren’t going to change my circumstances. But prayers to God—those can make quite a difference! I’ll happily accept all of those that I can get.

Look, I’ve said it a million times. I’m not a theologian. I’ve never been to seminary. I write this every day as a Christian woman who simply wants to follow Jesus. This blog is a prayer prompt, yes, but to a small degree, it’s my own journal that I share with anyone who wants to read it. I’m not trying to split hairs on someone’s vernacular, or judge others for saying “positive thoughts” and “good vibes” and whatever else. I’m just saying—recognize that the source of all goodness is from God alone. 

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful” (John 14:27 CSB). That’s what I love! That’s what we Christians need to promote and celebrate! Any peace or positive thought from the world is a cheap imitation of what amazing peace and goodness that comes from Jesus! And only His goodness can make a lasting impact.

Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for His great goodness, love, and peace. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you honor the goodness of Jesus and the power of prayer in everything you say and do. Ask Him to help you to always point anything positive back to Jesus.

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