No one likes feeling trapped. All of us have something that is holding us back, getting in our way, or keeping us from experiencing God’s best for us. What if the issue really is in our mind, and how do we stop ourselves from getting mind trapped? This week, we’re talking about the mind trap of negativity.

Start Talking

  • Let’s revisit our conversation from last week. How do you know when a mindset has become a mindtrap? 
  • How did you answer these questions Clay asked?
    • You have your yearly physical, doctor comes in:
      • “You are in great health!”
      • “You have something very wrong with you.”
    • Someone calls you at midnight:
      • “Yay they want to chat!”
      • “Someone is dying.“
    • Your boss says “Can you come by my office?”
      • “Yay a raise!”
      • “Great, it’s my last day. I’m getting fired.”
  • Does it give you anxiety when you are texting with someone, and you see the “bubbles”, no words come up, and then the bubbles go away?
  • Would you describe yourself as positive, negative or realistic 😁?
  • Clay noted, “Negativity is both addictive and contagious.” Why do you think this is?

Read This

  • The Paul of The Bible has a lot to say about our  mindset. One thing he draws our attention to is focusing on Joy, and not just when things are going well. In fact, it’s as if he is saying “Choose joy no matter what is going on!” 

Read Philippians 1: 12-14

  • What stands out to you?
  • Do you remember where Paul is when he writes this letter?
  • What point is Paul trying to make?
  • How is Joy different from happiness?

Read Philippians 4:8-9

  • What is Paul saying?
  • How do you differentiate between thoughts that are false vs. true?
  • Do you believe that your thought life can affect your joy? Do you find it interesting that Paul doesn’t talk about joy being connected to our circumstances? 
  • How can you practice “thinking on what is true”?
  • What does Paul promise will happen if we “think on these things?

What Now

  • Clay suggested three things to help us in our battles against negativity. Which of these three can you focus on this week?
    • Take your thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5)
      • How can you control  your thoughts rather than letting your thoughts control you?
    • Find the Inputs
      • Where are your negative thoughts originating from?
      • Is there an input you need to eliminate?
    • Rejoice in the Lord  (Phillipians 4:9)
      • What does it mean to rejoice in the Lord?
      • If you can see this as a discipline rather than a response to your feelings, how would this impact you?
  • As always, we can learn from Jesus on how to live a free life. Read Hebrews 12:1-2 together.
    • Why is it important to consider how Jesus thought even in His death?
    • What would it look like for you to “fix your eyes on Jesus” this week?

Remember This

Hopefully it’s encouraging to you that JOY isn’t a bi-product of perfect circumstances. That Joy isn’t that shifty. Jesus is the source of our joy and He is with us always (Matthew 28:20).