The Little Foxes

By Lowell Fillmore
The Little Foxes

Negative thoughts are like the little foxes mentioned in the Bible that destroy the vineyard. If such thoughts are not denied expression they may grow in numbers and destroy a portion of the crop of good things that are growing into fruition in your life. God has planted fruitful vines in the vineyard of your soul; you must not let the little foxes of negative thought destroy them. ...

Spiritual good things are growing in your consciousness and should bring you much fruit. Some of these fruits of your vineyard are peace, joy, success, and satisfaction. You can protect and encourage this crop of good things by using good thoughts. Every thought you think adds something to the sum total of your consciousness. Your consciousness is built of the thoughts, ideas, and feelings that you have stored in it by your daily thoughts and reactions through the years. The good fruits of your inner vineyard grow into perfect spiritual maturity with the help of your mental creative process when it is in accord with Divine Mind.

Of course the nature of your consciousness is changing to some degree every day as you change the character of your thoughts and your mental attitude toward the things that come into our life experience. When you persist in following a certain trend of thought, your consciousness becomes definitely colored and influenced by that trend. The optimist has a pleasant outlook on life as compared with the pessimist, who has a dark outlook. The consciousness of each is colored light or dark according to his outlook. One has more sunshine and the other more shadow in his soul consciousness, each according to his own outlook.

But just being an optimist is not enough to produce an abundant crop of good fruit. You must also train yourself to look for and discover the good in everything that happens to you and find a way to make use of this good by blessing it in your thoughts, words, and actions. Do this with the faith that God's omnipresent wisdom and power is helping you.

Do not let the bad habit of negative thinking grow on you. It may start in a harmless kind of a way. You may begin by looking critically at a few negative points in your associates; you may not like something that someone is doing or the way he wears his hat or the tone of his voice. It is always possible to find something in nearly everybody to criticize, but there is always more good in everybody than bad.

You can always find and enjoy something good in every person if you look for it. When you discover this good and make the most of it even if you do not mention it, glory will be added to your inner vineyard. But when you pick at the faults in anyone who annoys you, a shadow flits across your consciousness.

Suppose a group of people go into a beautiful garden where there is much to please the eye and to praise, but one of the group who has developed a habit of negative thinking searches among the roses and discovers a worm on which he concentrates his attention and interest. ...

Hunting for worms by the gardener in order to cast them out is quite different than when a guest who has come to enjoy the beauty of the garden calls attention to them.

Cultivate the habit of looking for the good things of life and of praising these things as you enjoy them and you will be happy.

It is just as easy to find and enjoy these things as it is to complain about the unlovely things; in fact it is much easier, because there are so many more good things in life than bad.

If there is something wrong and you can fix it, it is right to give it attention while you fix it, but to indulge the bad habit of looking for flaws and dwelling upon them when you cannot remedy them actually hurts you more than anyone else. Thinking about mistakes, troubles, disappointments, slights, and grudges opens the gates of your consciousness to the little foxes that destroy the fruit of your God-given vineyard. ...

It seems easy to say, "So-and-so has snubbed me and I am miserable," and it is easy to criticize a person's manners or the cut of his hair, but such thoughts are not helpful. We must learn to rise above negative thinking and keep the little foxes from eating up our store of good thoughts.

One bad habit that opens the way for a pack of little foxes to come into your vineyard is to count your troubles instead of your blessings. Your problem cannot destroy your good but your negative thinking about your problems will destroy it.

Thinking about unpleasant things instead of praising the power of God's goodness destroys the good fruit of your vineyard. Many people today are carrying around in their heart heavy burdens that they do not need to carry. They take upon themselves unnecessary worry burdens that are heavier than their duties.

It is right to think about ways to solve your problems but your thoughts about these problems must be positive and be backed by the assurance that you can solve them by the help of God's power and wisdom. You must learn to cast your burdens on the Lord. When your negative thoughts are turned over to God they become as nothing, and if it is necessary for you to do something, it will be shown you. ...

The greatest burden that you have to bear is the burden of your own belief in the evils that you think you see. You can just as well work with constructive ideas that will protect your vineyard from the little destructive thought foxes.

The best way to deal with these little foxes is to remember that God's good words are always with you, waiting for you to express them in thought, word, and action. Think with God, and let the little foxes go back into the wilderness of unreality from which they came.

Lowell Fillmore was the eldest son of Unity founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore. Active in the Unity movement since grade school, he was treasurer of Unity School and became president of Unity School of Christianity in 1948 and remained at its helm until his retirement in 1972. This article is excerpted from his book, The Prayer Way to Health, Wealth, and Happiness.