Have you ever heard of Ivan pavlov? He was a man that experimented a behaviour excercise termed conditioning. It was a psychological study of what happens when a certain type of behaviour is repeated over and over until it becomes a natural response of the one participating.
In this study a bell was rang when feeding a dog. The dog salivated when the bell and food was given. Over and over this excercise was repeated until they took the food away. When the food was taken and the bell rang, the dog salivated; the dog was now conditioned in its behaviour.
Isn’t this how life can be? We are conditioned on a daily basis through media, television and our peers. We are shown repeatedly what a good look is, what a woman should be like or what a man should be like and so on. We moan about a situation until moaning is part of who we are; we put ourself down until we become depressed, we stop doing what we need to do until we end up doing nothing. This is how we condition ourselves in a none positive way.
The good news? The opposie is true. We can condition our behaviour in a good and positive way. We can give so often that eventually as the words of Jesus says, we wont let our left hand no what our right hand is doing Mattew 6:3. In other words giving will become a natural part of who we are. What about being positive in every situation? That means when things are good you see how you can make it even better, and when things are bad you see how it can become something good. I knew a family that lost two of their children through a heart condition. They decided to use their grief to raise money to help others with this condition and helped raise money to invest in equipment to prevent more deaths. They could have grieved and become bitter, but they used tragedy to prevent more tragedies.
Conditioning for something positive is strengthened most when times are difficult. Why is this? Because in times of difficulty our minds are alert and receptive, this is the greatest time for reading Gods word and being strengthend. It is the greatest time to preach to yourself, “I will get through this, I can grow through this, I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me”.
Life always offers 2 conditioners. The one is called positive and the other is called negative. Or the one is called bad and the other good and so on. In every situation we can choose our influence and what conditions us. Is it your circumstances? Your peers? Yourself? Or maybe your God? It is possible to not be conditioned by something negative simply by shifting our focus. When our minds are determined to not allow our soul to be contaminated we are off to a good start. Set your will, set your mind and set your life. The word of God renews the mind. When we allow our character to be conditioned for the benefits of good morals and excellence, our world changes around us. Why? Because the way we look at the world has changed.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.