Positive Thinking

“Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.”

— Philippians 4:8

Norman Vincent Peale is best known for his famous book The Power of Positive Thinking. Now he has been criticized by evangelical Christians for simply playing on one string of a harp, and there is perhaps a little truthfulness to this in that he left many of the great doctrines of the Christian faith not denied, but more or less ignored, while he played on the string of the power of positive thinking. But let me say this, he played better on that string than anybody else has, and he certainly helped many people.

I remember a young man who worked on our custodial staff here at the church who was one of the most negative, downcast, self-reproaching individuals that I have ever met. So I took out of my library my copy of Peale’s book and I told him that if anybody ever needed to read this book he did, and I gave it to him with the

hope that he profited from it. But long before Peale stressed positive thinking, the Apostle Paul was sounding the very same note. Perhaps the note from which Peale got his inspiration for his book, I don’t know that for certain, but the text that we read today is certainly one of the most positive thinking kinds of texts that there is. So certainly Paul was a man who knew the importance of positive thinking. You could not have a greater text for a message or book on true positive thinking than Philippians 4:8.

Beautiful Savior, give us the strength to take every thought captive and to think of the good and the lovely…