Positive Attitudes Only Get You So Far

“I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.”

Psalm 119:30 (NIV)


Last time we were together I shared about how when going through a difficulty or trial in life, it’s good to maintain a positive attitude but after a while, when it seemed like it would never end, negativity can sometimes creep in.

Today I want to share about how wonderful a positive attitude truly is, but positive attitudes that aren’t grounded in truth will only get me so far.

God has brought me quite far over the last four years.  He has taught me how to fully trust Him.  Three years ago January I was suddenly terminated from my job of over a decade due to technology.  At first I chose to “trust” and I put that in quotes because my idea of trusting Him was more of a genie-in-a-bottle type attitude, a superficial positive attitude.  “Oh, this is just another test from God.  I can handle it.  If I do things His way, ask for His will, He will give me another job within the 30 days and life will get back to normal quickly.”  Well-meaning people tried to warn me, encouraged me that if it took a while they would be there to help, that our family wasn’t alone during this challenge, etc. and while I thanked them, I honestly didn’t think I would need it.  God had this.

And He did have it, but not in the way I expected, planned for or tried to control.  Looking back, I see how God started preparing me for the pink slip in 2015 a few years earlier.  But His plan wasn’t a quick fix.  It wasn’t a 30 day, now resume normal living type of plan.  It was a loving journey of learning how to fully rely on Him for everything … and because everyone is different, my journey to that outcome took longer than 30 days.  Longer than a few months.  Longer than … you get the picture.

However, I can honestly say I truly learned how to trust God for everything.  Provision? He will provide what is needed (not always wanted) in His perfect timing.  Healing? Again, He provides His way in His time.  Over the past three years God has not only provided for our family but He has gone above and beyond by healing areas of my life I didn’t even ask for healing from, still working with me on fully healing other areas I have asked for healing in, and so much more.

I realized if I only try to maintain a positive attitude, I’m missing out on so much more.  Our family is dealing with a continuation of a challenge we’ve been facing for quite a number of years and I know God is working and will give us a miracle in this area.  Why do I know? Because of a superficial positive attitude?  No.  Because I choose to focus on remembering all the ways God has provided and healed and come through for our family in the past. I’m choosing to lean in closer and listen harder to what my part is that He wants me to accomplish during this trial.  And the trust I have is genuine.  I’ve seen God deliver in the past and I know He will deliver again, in His way and His time.

Positive attitudes are great and I would encourage them over negativity any day.  However, positive attitudes only get a person so far.  Genuine trust in God and belief that He has you, your family, your unique situation and praising Him for how He’s going to work before you see what He’s going to do is so much better.

© Cheri Swalwell 2018


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