Recently, I was digging for stock photos for a client on unsplash and I came across this photo. Such a great word picture!
What do you see?
I saw the word reframing.
In psychology there is a term called “cognitive reframing” developed by a psychiatrist named Aaron Beck in 1960. Through working with patients diagnosed with depression he found that negative thoughts would persist in the minds of these patients. Beck helped his patients recognize the impact of their negative thoughts and aided them in shifting their mindset to think more positively. This eventually led to the lessening of, or sometimes getting rid of, the patients' depression.
While Beck may have coined the term, the concept was developed many years before Beck’s time by a man named Paul.
Paul said, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” - Philippians 4:12
Paul had learned to reframe his thoughts.
Reframing requires seeing something in a new way, in a context that allows us to recognize and appreciate positive aspects of our situation.
Throughout Paul’s missionary journeys he experienced many hardships - beatings, prison, shipwrecks, sickness, etc. By God’s grace, Paul was able to view his life from a wider perspective, seeing beyond his present circumstances. This allowed him to interpret and experience his circumstances differently.
Whether Paul was in plenty or in want, he found contentment in knowing that God had him there and he trusted that God was working in him and through him in more ways than he could presently see.
Heavenly Father, let us learn to reframe our thoughts.