UPSIDE As Opposed to a Downward Spiral

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Over the weekend, before the storms hit, before we lost power that took down two electrical poles, before an errant light bulb exploded into a million bits of sparking electricity all over my head … I read a book that affected how I viewed this sudden loss of power, comfort, and control.

Because the premise of this text is learning to accurately read the state of our nation, I was already prepared to push past my discomfort and find something positive, or at least extract a teachable moment from this unexpected event.

I realized that embracing a positive mentality is essential for every individual since viewing the world as continually getting worse bears many personal costs. While I could offer many stats on the true state of our world which will have readers shocked (in the best way possible) and then rethinking where they get their negative information from, I believe it’s more valuable to ask ourselves why we are believing these glib negative statements without checking to be sure they’re true.

Rather than mindlessly accepting every naysayer’s words of doom and gloom, let’s try to apply a few “send-off” suggestions for handling media related reports like a pro.

  • Check your sources carefully.
  • Cross-check what you read/hear by going to opposite camps for the same story and note the different slants.
  • Take stock of what our country takes for granted in comparison to other poorer countries.
  • Look back into history to get a reality check.
  • Consume less and cultivate a thankful, contented heart.
  • Share something with someone in need and give thanks that you have enough to share.

As we know, knowledge, insight, and experience mean nothing until they are applied to our lives. I was gratefully aware it could have been much worse.

How did I apply upside thinking during this weekend?

  • No one was hurt.
  • No one’s home was leveled.
  • The discomfort was temporary, not permanent.
  • It was a timely reminder of how much people need the goodwill of other people during times of trouble.

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Your Turn

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How can you reverse upside-down thinking?


by: Michele Howe

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MicheleHoweMichele Howe is the author of twelve books for women and has published over 1600 articles, reviews, and curriculum to more than 100 different publications. Her articles and reviews have been published in Good Housekeeping, First For Women, Single Parent Family, Christian Single, and many other publications. Michele’s single parenting titles include Going It Alone and Still Going It Alone. After having undergone six shoulder surgeries, Michele saw the need for a women’s inspirational health-related book co-authored with her orthopedic surgeon titled, Burdens Do a Body Good: Meeting Life’s Challenges with Strength (and Soul), released in 2010 and from which Prescription for Life, their health, medical and surgical informational book, is based.

About Be the Light Editor

Martin Wiles is a minister, author, freelance editor, and English teacher who lives in Greenwood, SC. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and is the author of Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions ( and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.

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