As a boy, I would hear my grandmother refer to indigestion as a ‘sour stomach’. At times, the phrase would also be incorporated into a colloquial expression about a person’s attitude. The saying was, “When you have a sour stomach, none of the food on the table looks good.”
Our outlook on situations in our lives tints how we see the world. The Apostle Paul wrote to Titus, “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15).
A positive attitude is a major factor in living successfully. When we are focused on the positive aspects of our life, we can find joy and peace even in adverse circumstances. Paul give this advice, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8, NKJV). Life is better when our outlook is optimistic.
When our outlook on life is ‘sour’, everything seems tainted and distasteful. Part ‘b’ of Paul’s words in Titus 1:15 conveys this principle: “but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled”. A negative attitude is like wearing dirty glasses – the world tends to look dim and soiled. A sour stomach even makes good dishes look unappealing.
We can keep a positive attitude by having clean hands and a pure heart. A positive view comes from a close relationship with the Lord. You can, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). God’s word gives us this advice, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
I love the following quote by Walt Whitman: “Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you.” John says, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Walking in the light that Jesus provides, keeps the shadows of negative thought from clouding our outlook.
Prayer: Lord, please help me to have a “sweet” heart and not a “sour” stomach.
~ Brother Roy