Call me old fashioned, but I still believe in the adage, “dress for success.” I don’t mean that we need to be the fashion police or stress constantly about our clothes. I just mean that there’s a truth that how we present ourselves goes a long way towards how people respond to us.
There have been numerous sociological studies about this, but it really doesn’t take all that much research to figure it out. If you dress nicely and project confidence, people tend to be more respectful toward you. Your appearance says that you respect yourself, and people by and large will unconsciously reinforce the picture you have of yourself.
Conversely, if you’re dressed in sloppily, don’t make eye contact with people, etc. you’re less likely to get positive responses. I’m not saying this is necessarily right, just that it is how things are.
This is a small picture of a much larger spiritual truth, which is that our outward reality is always moving to conform with our inward one. Proverbs 23:7 says that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. This means that how we think about ourselves sends signals into the spirit realm which attract to us people and circumstances that will reinforce our core beliefs.
If I believe I’m cursed, and that something bad is surely about to happen to me, this actually attracts people and circumstances that will affect me negatively. Additionally, it makes me hypersensitive to the random negative things that happen in life. Sometimes, I may not actually be experiencing any more problems than the average person, but when I’m looking for them, it makes them seem worse.
If I can change what I believe, however, and start seeing myself as blessed, I can begin to pull people and circumstance into my life which reinforce that belief. Bad things will still happen, but I’ll consider the problems the anomaly rather than the norm. If I start to think, “Something good is about to happen to me!” I’ll find that more often than not, I’m right!
A lot of this is just having a healthy perspective and focusing on the right things. Jesus went through the greatest challenge any person has ever faced. He died a horrific death on the cross. How did he handle that? Heb 12:2 says that he endured the cross by despising the shame.
To despise the shame means to disesteem and to devalue. In other words, Jesus just refused to focus on it. Rather He focused on the joy that was set before Him. He chose to look at the good not the bad. Doing this enabled Him to endure the short-term pain which led to the long-term blessing.
Comedy or Tragedy?
We all tell ourselves stories about our lives. How we frame the story makes it either a tragedy or a comedy. In classical Greek drama, tragedies were stories that moved from happiness to unhappiness. Comedies weren’t really stories that made you laugh, they were just stories that moved from unhappiness to happiness. They had a good ending.
When Jesus told Himself the story of His life, He focused on the happy ending. He saw the main point to be the resurrection and eternity with His Father and His Bride. The crucifixion was just one plot point which led to the final climax.
We need to learn to tell our stories the same way. Not all of our happy endings have been written yet, but we can believe they’re coming. We can choose to see the good and count our blessings.
Whatever difficulty you may currently be going through, the final climax if you know Jesus is that you’ll spend eternity with Him. Our story is that we’re sinners, sure, but all our sins our forgiven. We’ve be wronged, yes, but we’ve forgiven those who’ve wronged us. We’ve seen death and experienced loss, but in Christ all such losses are temporary, and at last even death will be swallowed up in the great victory of our Lord!
For more information about how to develop a blessed mindset, check out our teaching on it here: https://chariskingdomchurch.com/totality4-being-blessed/
Thanks, Max. I enjoy your weekly emails. They are always encouraging and provide food for thought.
Thanks Merry, glad they’re blessing you!