Arlene's Blog

Blog #26: ACCENTING THE POSITIVE

We've heard the story about the optimist saying a glass is half full while the pessimist thinks of the glass as half empty. I have a friend who does a lot of complaining about health issues. Sometimes when I ask her "How are you?" she will respond, "Not so bad." What does that mean? Why can't she say, "I'm doing better" or "pretty good"?

When someone poses the question to me, "how are you," I'm careful about saying the standard "fine." Sometimes I am not "fine," but I don't want to complain and I don't want to lie. Most of the time, the "How are you" question is just a greeting. If we started listing all of our aches and pains, we would probably lose our audience rather quickly.

The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 "...be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." What transforms us? Answer: the renewing of our minds. Some years ago, a gentleman, who was an alcoholic and a gambler, started attending our church services at the request of his four-year-old son who had visited with an uncle. The man made an attempt to become a Christian, but he was trying to please his son rather than God, and his heart wasn't in it. After a little time, the mother and son went for a visit to New York. The last words of the little boy to his dad were, "Dad, please don't drink."

While they were away, the dad hung out with some friends one evening, and they persuaded him to stop by Universal Studios City Walk. He knew better, but he went and had a few drinks. On the way home, he got picked up and jailed for a DUI. While spending the night in that jail cell, all he could think of was his little son pleading with him to not drink.

Finally, he knelt in that jail cell and prayed to God to cleanse him of his sins. He promised God that he would never drink again. When he got released, he went home and let all is former drinking friends and relatives know of his "renewing of the mind." That has been over ten years ago, and the man has never touched a drop since. His son is so proud of him and enjoys telling his story to others. And, yes, the gambling stopped also.

While Paul was in prison, he kept trying to encourage others to be positive in spite of hardships. He wrote to the Corinthians in II Cor. 4:8-10 these wonderful words of hope: "We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed." These words were written by a man who had been stoned several times and even left for dead, shipwrecked, beaten, falsely accused and wrongly imprisoned. He had suffered cold, hunger, rejection, and other persecutions. Yet, he looked at the positive "Hope" within him.

I can take those words and "renew my mind" by saying, "I am NOT crushed, NOT in despair, NOT forsaken, and NOT destroyed." The Devil may have attacked, but I AM STILL STANDING because God is with me through all things. He will be with us all the way home.

Arlene Prewitt

Arlene Prewitt
Arlene Prewitt is a published author who, along with her husband, has participated in ministries throughout the world, including work in China and India. She has had a successful career in education and in recent years has served as mentor and consultant to various educational entities, including Orange County Public Schools here in Central Florida.

Along with her husband, Rev. Don Prewitt, she has been instrumental in starting and administrating various foster-care services in addition to their pastoral work in Kentucky and Florida.