Good humor can help to put us in a cheerful mood ~ especially when there is an unexpected punchline. Ponder these humorous sayings:
- He who laughs last … thinks slowest.
- When everything’s coming your way … you’re in the wrong lane and going the wrong way!
- For every action, there is an equal and opposite … criticism.
- Love is blind … but marriage is a real eye-opener.
- A day without sunshine is like … night.
- Save the whales … collect the whole set.
- Half the people you know … are below average.
- If at first you don’t succeed … destroy all evidence that you tried.
Speaking of unexpected, the new Special K cereal dieting commercial grabbed my attention, because it is so contrary to the norm. The ad shows women stepping on scales to begin a dieting challenge, only to be met with motivating words, not incriminating numbers.
“What if we stopped focusing on what we want to lose and started focusing on what we want to gain?” the commercial asks.
I’m not going to debate whether the Special K challenge is a good idea or not ~ whether the diet plan is good nutrition and with sufficient calories ~ but I have to admit that their catchy question made me evaluate my attitudes.
So much of my life I focused on the negative … trying not to be bad, trying not to fail, trying not to disappoint, etc. A few years ago, I turned that all around by making some proactive, intentional choices to embrace what is good, life-building, and healthy. That’s what the Lord intended for us, I think. A positive, biblical focus.
Don’t get me wrong.
There certainly must be times to examine our hearts for sin (Lamentations 3:40) and to confess sin (1 John 1:9), and there is the continual “putting off” of some sinful attitudes and behaviors as we “put on” the opposite righteous attitudes and behaviors (Ephesians4:22-24).
But does our Father in heaven want us to get bogged down in incriminating thoughts, focusing on how bad we are ~ and the truth is, there is no good thing within us without Christ (Romans 7:18; Galatians 5:17) ~ or does He want us to rise up in victory and embrace who we are in Christ and our eternal gain in Him?
A few years ago, when I began to concentrate on God’s grace and goodness in redeeming me, I was far more motivated to live for Him in humble gratitude than when I was forever digging about in my heart for some hidden sin.
I decided to ask my loving Father to reveal my heart in His own time and way (Proverbs 16:2; Psalm 26:2-3). He has been faithful to do that. Sometimes there are periodic times of heart-searching in a “revival week” experience, but I’ve found that when I stay in the Word and open to God ~ asking the Holy Spirit to teach me ~ God uses the Word of God and the everyday experiences of life to rub off the rough, sinful, foolish edges of my life.
The truth is, the Special K ad actually stops short.
Rather than even focusing on what I want to gain, how much better to consider what I’ve already got ~ how blessed I already am ~ because of my relationship with God in Christ.
Rather than focusing on my fear, I focus on courage and the strength He gives. Rather than focusing on my tendency to stress out and worry, I focus on the Sovereign God who is always in control. Rather than focus on what I believe I don’t have (which leads to a spirit of discontent), I focus on the abundant life God has promised to me.
How about you? Are you focusing on what you want to gain in life… or better yet, what you’ve already got?