FIVE STEPS TO POSITIVE LIVING—Step 1 of 5
By Rev. Dr. Arthur Chang
FIVE STEPS TO POSITIVE LIVING
1. Be Strong in Spirit
2. Be Courageous in Action
3. Be A Gentle Heart
4. Discover Your Hidden Talents
5. Be a Source of Healing
BE STRONG IN SPIRIT
Recent reports show depression is one of the greatest mental health challenges facing Americans today. It may affect you or someone you love. The biggest increase is among men ages 45 to 64, and suicide is rising among mid-life women, too. Young people—from teens to college students—are another group that appears to be greatly affected by the growing challenges to mental health in America.
There are many types of mental health challenges, including anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder.
To be positive about our lives in the face of all this, we need to establish a relationship with the Sacred Source of the universe itself—God. This will help counteract the negativity that challenges our mental health.
The psalmist showed us the way by telling God “You are the Strength of my life.”
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. (Psalm 105:4)
The first quote is a direct communion while the second is advice to the reader.
Strength in Spirit is not simply from the Power of the Law of Mind in Action; it is from the Presence. Ernest Holmes’ complete term for the Science of Mind is The Science of Mind and Spirit. While Law is the medium for our creative power, to be strong in Spirit means to be strong in our relationship with God. It is like the strength of love we develop with our mother or father or both.
God is love. However, to say it and to feel it are not the same. We will develop great strength by feeling God’s love in our hearts.
For New Thought theologian, Thomas Troward, Moses represents the Law, and Jesus represents the Love of God. When Jesus said,
“I do not come to destroy the Law; I have come to fulfill the Law,” it implies the best way for us to use the Law is to have it filtered through love. Holmes says, “Love works through Law.” It does, but thought can work through Law without the filter of Love. When this occurs, it is not, in the sense that Jesus meant, fulfilling the Law.
Law implies doing the father’s will because He is the deity.
God, the boss, will promote you, so you do what he says because he is checking up on you.
Love implies doing the father’s will because you Love God.
God, the parent, will support you
with his love. You do the will (do good) because of your love. It is feeling the relationship. It is relational.
For Jesus, from the outset, it was declared, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” So it is for us also. Furthermore, Jesus taught this was not unique to him; we are all sons and daughters of God. He said, “The kingdom of God is within you,” and “Our Father which is in heaven.”
Feeling God’s love will make us strong in Spirit. This is the first of my five steps to positive living.