North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    During my boyhood, there was a Christian man and his family who attended the same church as me. They had a beautiful home and lived about the same distance from the church as I did, but in the opposite direction. The rolling hills on their property was a perfect scene for the many horses he cared for. He would often ride them on the woodland trails behind the church. On one occasion he invited the boys from the Sunday School class to go for a trail ride. It was a splendid Sunday afternoon during the fall season. Every boy was given a horse to ride. The black horse I rode was strong, tall, and full of energy I’ll never forget it because as I rode him, it made the blood tingle in my veins and I felt like I could take on the world and win!    I tell this story because the positive thinking attitude is like the spirit in that horse. Some horses walk tall with their head high and arch in their back. They wear their tail proudly and when they step it’s as though they’re bouncing. A horse like this never needs a touch of the whip, or a scolding word to make them go. All they want is the open road, and a firm hand on the reins to let them know which trail to take.

    On that particular day a friend of mine rode a different horse. His horse was in the business of dragging one foot along after the other as through he was afraid his hind legs would catch up with his fore legs. He would stumble along with his head down. My friend would yell at him, try to swat him on the back side, but no matter what he did it didn’t help. The horse had no spirit, or in this case, no positive idea or reason to step it up.

    A person that doesn’t practice positive thinking is like the horse that’s whipped, pounded, and worried to no purpose. But a positive thinker is like a thoroughbred! Positive thinking brings with it a sort of spirit and energy that enables people to accomplish things they would not otherwise even attempt. Positive thinking is self-encouragement in the truest sense. And a positive thought process changes and improves whatever is attempted.

    Anybody of varying age can be a positive thinker. Take the school setting for an example. School teachers are always pleased when they have an enthusiastic positive student who does the right thing; because the student whose positive isn’t trying to find out how little they can know about the lesson and yet mange to scrape through on test day. Who wants the stress of barely passing a class? Do your best and forget the rest. When you have the task of completing a class, throw yourself into it and learn as much as you, as best you can. There’s a great difference in knowing about something as opposed to understanding its purpose and how it works. Positive thinkers seek to understand so that confidence can be elevated and put to action.

    On the job site, employers look for positive, conscientious people to work for them. These kind of people don’t try to do as little as possible and still get their pay. Nor do they come in late to work, or stay away from work not caring whether they’re helping their employer or not. The Bible says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:23).

    Generally, a positive employee is up early in the morning, not waiting to do what they’re told, but tries to think of things that can be done to help the company, organization, or family. They go to work as if going to a ball game. They’re determined to succeed, and the spirit of that determination in them bubbles over in neatness, promptness, politeness, organization, and in faith.

    In my Army Reserve unit there’s many good Soldiers who are willing to obey orders and do faithfully whatever they’re told to do. But there’s also those who stand out and go the “second mile”. They’re always inventing ways by which they can help achieve the mission in a more thorough and timely manner. They’re positive thinkers with high spirits, and they possess a helpfulness of spirit in every department of human life.

    I believe the positive mind-set can be cultivated just the same as any other quality. In an intentional way we can get into the habit of thinking positive by looking for the good in things and keeping our eyes open to observe opportunities that will benefit others and oneself.

    Here’s an example from the animal arena; a watchdog, although he may be a Cur or other small breed, is worth more than a sleeping Great Dane. So is a person who is wide awake and always ready to do their best and do it at once. A person with only moderate ability, has a great deal better prospect of success than a genius who’s lazy or careless. All other things being equal, the person who thinks positive with enthusiasm will wear the laurels in the race of life.

    Positive thinking and its associated living is as necessary in spirituality as anywhere else. The Bible reveals the facts of some folks who have lost the enthusiastic side of their religion, “Because you’re like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! So be diligent (positive) and turn from your indifference” (Revelation 3:16, 19). And remember the divine instructions of Romans 12:2: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect”. A person that knows God’s will and acts within that will can expect a greater achievement of purpose in life and will naturally make a difference in everything they do. Develop, nurture, cultivate, and practice the positive principle in your life and you’ll discover the rue joy in living.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a teacher, U.S. Army Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. He recently published another book titled “Living With Purpose Volume III” and it can be purchased on Contact him at:

Posted by on Oct 23 2016. Filed under Church News, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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