Tuesday, April 5, 2016

An Attitude Checkup

Don't you think Christians should have positive outlooks and attitudes?  We have so much to be positive about; we have hope and a future.  And yet, sadly, many of us are just as negative as those who don't know Jesus.

Chuck Swindoll writes: "The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude to life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than the past, than education, than money...than what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day.  We cannot change our past...we cannot change the inevitable.  The one thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.  I am convinced life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it." 

I agree with Chuck; life is not so much what cards we've been dealt, as it is how we handle and react to the circumstances of our lives.  How are you doing in the attitude department?  Staying positive or falling into negative territory too often. 

Positive people aren't just born that way; they work at it.  If you'd like your attitude to be more positive, I have a suggestion.  First, make a list of the things that happen to you which tend to destroy your positive attitude.  Mentally walk through a few of your days and ask yourself what are the things that get to you.

I call them "negative pulls."  You'll probably list things like a co-worker or a boss who drives you crazy; too much work to do; unrealistic expectations from other people; lack of cooperation; office politics, interruptions, etc.  Putting them in writing helps you realize just what is ruining your attitude.

Now, once you've done that, the next thing is to fight back.  Not with your own power, but with the power of God within you.  This is where Christians have a great advantage, because we can call on God to give us the strength to fight back.

I suggest you read your list to the Lord.  Say, "Lord, here are the things which happen to me that tend to ruin my attitude.  I'm asking you to help me fight back.  I know the fight is in my mind, and it must be done by faith.  If you will empower me, by your grace, I will work at being a positive person to bring glory to you."  That is a big first step in our attitude check-up. 

Paul wrote to the Ephesians in chapter 4: "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”(4:22-24)

The old self is negative; let's put it off.  The new self, given to us when we are born from above, has a new attitude of mind, and like Jesus, it will be positive and encouraging.  By God's grace, let's determine to develop and maintain positive attitudes for the glory of Jesus Christ.

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