As soon as I saw the title, it was impossible for me to pass up reading Dr. Mike Bechtle’s book, People Can’t Drive You Crazy if You Don’t Give Them the Keys. And I was not disappointed!
One the highlights for me is summed up in the following quote:
“You can’t stop a bird from landing on your head,
but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair.”
In other words, you cannot always prevent a negative thought from entering your mind, but you do have the ability to prevent that thought from taking root. I find this encouragement incredibly liberating because it acknowledges a struggle. Negative thoughts inevitably arise. They cannot be completely avoided, no matter how hard we try. And yet, we have the ability to to combat them. Spiritual warfare, anyone?
I’m sure a few pastors have had to wrestle against thoughts like, ‘They think I am a bad leader!’ or ‘I wonder if they think I’m qualified for this?’ or ‘There is no way I’ll ever get this weight off!” or “Did God really call me for this?” Negative thoughts exist.
Behavior change is hard, and our society can be pretty unforgiving about our humanity, our propensity to try and fail. And try again and fail again. Rinse and repeat. But a lot of the challenge is in our heads. And we don’t need to let a nest form by dwelling on our failures.
Regardless of where you are in your pursuits of health and wellness, please consider encouragement from Philippians 4:8 that says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
I would also like to offer a less theological, but nonetheless insightful perspective from a 3-year old named Jessica who takes a more proactive approach to positive thinking.
– Angela MacDonald
(Image courtesy of bibledrivethru.blogspot.com)