I remember resonating with that statement my professor made because it seemed easier to dwell on any small criticism, while small compliments never seemed to be enough. I wonder what would happen if we reversed that mental pattern. What if people's criticisms never seemed worthy of contemplating, while any little word of praise was cherished?
Someone at work notices your orderly system of organizing and then a client angrily stomps out of your office. Which one will you choose to dwell on?
Sometimes it's more natural to dwell upon the negative event, so it must be a conscious CHOICE to dwell upon the positive. If you have a mental filter that sifts out all the positive things you hear and catches the negatives, then you have a propensity towards depression.
Right about now you're thinking that this positive thinking sounds like humanistic worldly advice. Don't be shocked to find out that this is actually quite Biblical.
Philippians 4:8 "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."
People make kind compliments and I sometimes just brush them off. But if someone comments on the burnt toast, I sit right down on that one thought and dwell there all day, wondering if I'm a bad cook. I think that instead of dwelling on compliments or criticims, we ought to be dwelling someplace else entirely. What is true? What is noble? All "such things" lead me to Jesus. He is my dwelling place and I choose to build my nest there instead of on the negatives of the day.
You remain in me and my words remain in you...As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love...I have told you this that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 15
The path to joy is found in dwelling upon HIS words, not the words of others. Where are you dwelling today?