Perception is everything. The way I view my situation has much to do with the direction of my attitude.
Whether I am content or dismayed, anxious or at peace is directly connected to what I perceive as truth. Do I see myself as a hopeless victim or believe I will overcome my problem?
“…when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more….It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart".
These are not the words of someone who had a heated argument with a spouse, was falsely accused by a friend, loss a promotion to a less qualified co-worker or suffered some other fairly common injustice that can send one into a tail spin. No, these words are excepts taken from the personal diary of Anne Frank, a 15-year-old German -Jewish teenager whose family was forced to go into hiding during the Holocaust. After being discovered, they were deported and imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp.
Because of her courageous attitude, Anne’s story has inspired and encouraged the hearts of countless thousands. Her diary has been translated into many languages and is said to be one of the most widely read books in the world.
In the midst of imprisonment, surrounded by torment, disease and death, Anne decided to have faith that something good could still happen. She made a conscious effort to focus her thoughts on the good; in spite of what her eyes saw or her ears heard.
God has given much instruction concerning our thought life. Isaiah 57:7 admonishes the wicked to forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts in order to return to the Lord. Forsake. That sounds easy, but is it? It takes practice, but it starts with purposely replacing the problem with the promise.
“Finally my brother, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things (fix your minds on them.) Phil 4:8 AMP
Our thoughts are like a steering wheel leading us to a positive or negative destination. On days when I just can’t seem to kick a bad disposition, if I examine my thoughts I quickly find the real issue—it's not the person who I thought made me angry, it's not the bill that I am not able to pay on time. The issue is I have chosen to focus more on the issue than God's faithfulness to victoriously get me through it.
Anne realized her ideals seemed absurd, yet she said, “...I cling to them....” Much more so, I must cling to the Word of God no matter how absurd it seems. It changes my perception and my attitude.