Over the years, I’ve noticed that the more my thinking is inspired with heavenly truth and love, the happier and healthier I stay. If my outlook gets mired in negativity, despair or fear, life can feel dark and heavy.
You, too, may have noticed a connection between what you think and the experience that follows. To prevent oneself from slip-sliding into a bleak state, it’s wise to keep out of consciousness emotions and beliefs that lead to suffering.
I find useful direction on how to keep thought in a healthy place in the instruction of Jesus Christ when he said, “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.” (Matthew 26:41, NLT).
As children of God, we are divinely endowed with the ability to resist temptations of evil that pull our thinking into dark corners. We can watch and pray to keep out attitudes or suggestions that are not in our best interest to adopt.
As homeowners watch the front door of their house to keep out unwanted strangers and thieves, we can watch our thinking to keep out suggestions, impressions and inclinations that would pull us down.
For instance, if a co-worker brings a bad attitude into your workplace and you start to think, “This is going to be a miserable day,” you can disagree with that suggestion. You can watch and pray to see that God’s plan is for you to have a good day, and that neither of you need to suffer from a sour outlook.
If you watch the evening news and get upset about developments in government, you don’t have to let resentment and fear take over your thinking. You can push back on the negative emotions and choose to contribute to a positive mental atmosphere that promotes togetherness, open mindedness and respect.
If you start to feel sick, you can push back on the suggestion of inevitable suffering with an acceptance of God’s power to keep you healthy.
Dozens of times over the years, I have stopped colds, flu, various ailments and developing pain in their early stages with prayer, refusing to consent and remembering that God was at work in my being to keep me well. Prayer is a potent means of checking illness and preserving health.
The apostle Paul wrote, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7, KJV). I also like this translation from The Message, “Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper.”
It is empowering to understand that we are not mindless beings that must accept any impression that comes to our thought. We are thinking children of God that can sort right from wrong, and side with the good.
With God’s help, we can oppose suggestions of evil and stop them from becoming our experience.
So, when harmful influences come knocking at your mental door, rise up and resist. Watch and pray to be delivered from all evil, and stay free. It’s your divine right.
Evan Mehlenbacher is a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science in Richland, and member of the Christian Science Church on Burden Blvd., in Pasco. Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 333 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.