It has been a while now since my last endeavor at writing an article for the Internet. A while back the word attitude would come to my mind, and I would think of it every once in a while. I wasn’t sure if this was what God wanted me to write about because other topics would pop into my head from time to time. While reading sermons from the Internet, reading books and scriptures I decided to go ahead and write about the topic of Attitude. Most of my material was gleaned from the above sources.
I found the subject of attitude interesting because everyone has attitudes. Attitude is everything. We all have the potential to be spiritual giants, but only a few of us seem to actually become a giant. Too many of us don’t have the proper attitude for real growth. We reach a certain point and then we either level off or fall backwards.
While reading a sermon by Justin Meek about the Christian attitude, I read a story about a happy little boy that I liked. It’s an old story about a happy little boy who went out into the field. He had on his baseball cap and was carrying a baseball bat. And on his face there was a look of tremendous confidence. Cocking his bat, he tossed the ball into the air, saying, “I’m the greatest batter in the world!” Then he swung and missed. “Strike one,” he said. He picked up the ball, examined it, and then threw it in the air again. As he swung, he repeated, “I’m the greatest batter in the world.” Once again he missed. “strike two,” he said. This time, he stopped to examine his bat to make sure there wasn’t a hole in it. Then he picked up the ball, adjusted his cap, and tossed the ball into the air for the 3rd time. He repeated again, “I’m the greatest batter in the world,” and swung with all his might. And missed for the third straight time. “Wow” he cried. “What a pitcher. I’m the greatest pitcher in the world. Or would you be more like the woman who was bitten by a rabid dog, and it looked like she was going to die from rabies. The doctor told her to put her final affairs in order. So the woman took pen and paper, and began writing furiously. In fact she wrote and wrote and wrote. Finally the doctor said, “That sure is a long will you’re making. “She snorted, “ Will, nothing! I’m making a list of all the people I’m going to bite!”
In both cases attitude is what makes the difference. What is your attitude toward your Christian life? Do you value Christ above all else? Do you always move forward? Do you leave the past behind you? If you answered no to any of those then you have the wrong attitude and you will not mature to be the child of God you have the potential to be and that the father wants you to become. Search your hearts and if necessary change your attitude or better yet ask God to help you change it.
Next to knowing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, nothing is more important than having a good positive attitude. Your attitude can - Make or break you - Heal or hurt you - It can make you friends or make you enemies - Make you happy or make you miserable. It can make you a success or make you a failure.
Ninety five times out of a hundred when we begin to feel that things in life stink, the problem is not with the world or with others, but with ourselves. The problem is that our attitude has become negative. Change your negative attitudes to positive ones, and you can change the world.
Attitudes, attitudes, you see our whole life is made up of attitudes.
Let me ask you what is your attitude towards your neighbor? Your church? What about your job? The people you work with? Your family? Toward Christ? The government? Your wife or husband? What is your attitude towards the Law of God? Do you delight in it? And what is your attitude towards Sin? Towards money? Towards God? And your attitude towards your children?
If you are a young person or a teenager what about your attitude towards your mother or father? About school? Your teachers? Your friends or your church?
Abraham Lincoln once said I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better. Have you ever thought about getting to know people better that you don’t like? Better still, do you pray for them? You see, your attitude is infectious. Your attitude is the first thing people pick up on in face to face communications. Just as laughing, yawning, and crying are infectious, attitude is infectious. Before you say a word, your attitude can infect the people who you are with with the same behavior. Somehow just by looking or feeling, you can be infected by another persons attitude and vice versa.
When you are operating from inside a really useful attitude such as enthusiasm, curiosity, and humility, your body language tends to take care of itself and sends out unmistakable signals of openness. If you want to live a longer, healthier life then you need to develop and maintain a positive attitude. In a study of 1500 people researchers found that people who maintained a positive attitude showed significantly less signs of aging, less likely to become frail and more likely to be stronger and healthier than those with a negative attitude.
Your attitude reveals the real you. How important is your attitude? Your attitude is more important than facts - circumstances - what others say - its more important than your past - your education and your money. Your attitude is more important than anything else. Understand that your attitude is much deeper than just a few thoughts you might think or not think. Your attitude comes out of the core of your being. It represents our disposition, your outlook, and your very character. The bible says in Proverbs 23:7, For as a man thinks in his heart so he is. (NKJV)
You can never trust people with a bad attitude, because they will do things that you never thought they’d do. You see most people who stir up trouble do so not out of right reasons but out of bad attitudes. Often times the only thing that we criticize and get all stirred up about is no problem at all. The problem is our own sour, sick bad attitude. I’ve seen, and you have probably seen it too, That bad attitudes destroy marriages/families/ work environment/friends/ board meetings/ ladies or men’s meetings and church meetings. You see whenever you have an individual or a group of people filled with a bad attitude and wearing a loose lid, trouble is bound to happen, things will rapidly get negative. Your attitude is always your choice.
There is another story that I read on the Internet that I want to share. I like the man who was explaining to a friend about his college days. He said, No, I never actually was in the top half of my class, but I can say that I was in the group that made the top half possible. You see, much louder than the words you speak is your attitude that keeps telling people what you are really like. Personally I find this truth, that my attitude reveals the real me - to be quite sobering I like to say, like many others do, when I say something that obviously wasn’t the right thing, “I didn’t mean it, where did that come from?” It came from inside. When you have a negative, nasty, critical attitude that’s the real you. And when you least expect it, they will pop out and cause other people to like or dislike you.
Fact # 1 Your attitude reveals the real you.
Fact # 2 Your attitude determines the success and failure of every relationship in you life. And sometimes relationships will never get started in the first place. Because many times your attitude has built up walls, making it difficult for people to be around you. Bad attitudes effect your marriage relationship / your relationship with your kids / at work / at church and friends. A bad attitude is eventually going to spill out into some negative actions - destructive words and deeds.
Do you know that money reveals peoples attitudes? In fact there are few things in this world that can reveal more about a persons attitude and character than money.
I read a couple of sermons that talked about attitude in reference to flying an airplane. It is a technical word that is used in aeronautics or aviation. The dictionary definition of attitude is the position of an aircraft in relation to a given point of reference, usually ground level, “That is the horizon, so your attitude in an airplane is not something of passing interest. It is of vital life and death importance.” Do you know what? Flying airplanes is not the only thing in which attitude is important. It is important in our Christian experience. Everything may be going fine, but if your attitude is wrong, you are headed for trouble. This is true in Christian experience, not just in flying aircraft.
Hebrews 4:12 says: For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joint and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The word of God goes right to the heart to discern the thought and intents of the heart. Now the intent of the heart is your attitude. Other people may not be able to see it. Before it is over the thoughts and intents of every single persons heart, whether saved or lost is going to be revealed in public. If we fall into the habit of gossiping and our attitude leads to gossip, we will end up causing great spiritual destruction among our friends and our institutions and our churches, or anywhere we go. It comes from our attitude of saying, report and we will report.
We want to understand the times in which we live. But we do not understand the time in which we live. We do not half understand it. We do not half take it in. My heart trembles in me when I think of what a foe we have to meet, and how poorly we are prepared to meet him. The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the coming of Christ, has been presented to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ. How the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of Jews, and today he is seeking to blind the minds of God’s servants, that they may not be able to discern the “precious truth”.
What was the attitude of the Jews at the first coming of Christ? When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, nobody, that is human beings, could tell what their attitude was for sure. But God arranged it so that their attitude would become public. Their attitude toward the light of the world would become public and it unfolded more and more. It started unfolding in Bethlehem with the shepherds and wise men. That was the beginning of the rejection of Jesus. It unfolded more when he entered His ministry and cleaned the temple. But it unfolded at the end of his life. What did God’s professed people do with the light of the world at the end of His life? They crucified Him. Could the whole universe see what their attitude really was? And is that going to happen again? It is happening right now.
The devil was so skillful as a deceiver that even the angels did not totally comprehend what his real attitude toward Jesus was. So the Lord arranged things so that even the devil himself would demonstrate what his real attitude was. God is in the process of doing that again. Every one of us before the second coming of Christ will reveal in a most public way what his real attitude is. Nobody in the church or your family may know for sure right now. But let me tell you that when God decides that what is in your heart or my heart is going to be revealed, you are not going to stop it. One of the most awesome things in all inspired writings is the fact that what happened at the first coming will happen again at the second coming. They reveal to the whole universe what their real attitude was. We do not want this man to rule over us. People are in the process of revealing their real attitude again. This is an interesting subject that you can study and pray about as far as your own personal attitude.
I want to talk now for just a moment about the real or original falling away in the courts of Heaven by Satan himself or Lucifer. It is revealed to us in scripture what happened there was a problem with attitude. The devil started working on the minds of the angels. What the devil did then, he is trying to do here in the world now. He was determined to bring God to his ideas, his ways, to force Him to change the law of His government. Satan worked on the sympathies of the angelic host by his deceptive attitude. In other words he claimed that he was interested in doing this, but actually was interested in doing something else. But you cannot fool God. God knows what your real attitude is or what my attitude is. You may fool everybody else but God knows what is in your heart.
I want to go to another area that is important to understand in regard to attitude, and that is the attitude in the family, especially in the family circle. Our attitude determines what is going to happen in our families and family circles. Satan has waged an all out attack on our families and churches today. 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 tells us that Satan will use his back up plan to infiltrate their ranks dressed as an angel of light. Thus bringing a veil over all that is good, beautiful and true. Take them captive through their own religion. As a result whole families are being lost, and churches closing. You see spiritual warfare truly involves the family.
Does anybody in your family make mistakes? Well, what do you do when people make mistakes? We must be careful that when somebody makes a mistake in our family, we do not blow it up so that it is bigger than it has to be. Are you willing to forgive somebody in your family that has made a mistake? You see forgiveness is an attitude. Unforgiveness is an attitude, an opposite attitude.
The Apostle Paul writes, “the husband and wife must love and respect each other”. Respect is an attitude. It is the attitude of honoring some body else. And when the respect and honor is gone, very soon the love will be gone and there will be nothing left of your marriage. You must have an attitude of love and respect or you will not have a happy home.
If the husband and wife do not respect each other, what will happen to the children? They cannot learn the fifth commandment, they are stuck. “If parents realized how greatly their attitude toward each other influences the conduct of the children, they would offer earnest prayers to God for wisdom to understand and teach the way of the Lord. If you and I are going to be ready to go to Heaven—now it is unfortunate, but we have to face the truth because we are near the end of the world—there are going to be some families in which some of the people of the family will go to heaven and other people in the family will not go to Heaven. Now we do not like to think about that, but that is reality. So you see this principle extends far beyond just the family. It extends to people that we are working with, whether they are fellow workers or patients or clients or those who gossip. Do you know that there are some, both men and women, who gossip more than they pray.
Do you know, or have you ever known or seen some old people who have all of these bad attitudes? Nothing seems to be right in their scheme of thinking, and it causes them to be negative people and not nice to talk to or be around. Sometimes isolating some older folks because no one wants to be around them. Especially young people, relatives and other adults.
I must confess that there are times that I must battle this very problem. It is an easy trap to fall into. There are times when I must go before the Lord and ask him to help and forgive me if I find myself starting to go down that road of a bad attitude. I have to ask myself if I really want to go down that road. Since I know that bad attitudes are choices I make, I get upset with myself and ask the Lord to take these thoughts from me and fill me with his teachings and love. Bad attitudes are something that I must always guard against. With the Lord's help I do pretty well, but the danger of Satan is always there looking for that little opening to slip in and do his work. I have to say to Satan, “in the name of Jesus get behind me.” And He does.
Francis Prescott, one of the ladies of our church, always provides me with a copy of our Sunday school paper called the Evangel. I read about 98% of the material in them. Once in a while I read something that I think is good, and I highlight it and lay it back in my file. Let me share a couple of these with you. In the Feb. 17, 2013 issue it tells of 2 Corinthians 8:2-4 where Paul tells us that the Macedonian church out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability entirely on their own. They urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Saints.
We need to evaluate our attitudes. Sometimes we forget the joy that comes from giving and let our circumstances dictate our level of generosity. When we give of our talents, our time or our treasures this week we should evaluate our attitude. Are we giving bitterly, thinking about the cost? Or does our attitude match that of the Macedonians? When we give joyfully, we give immeasurably more than we ever sacrifice.
The September 30th issue tells about how selfish attitudes, snapped words, and snagged relationships upset a healthy balance control over our attitudes. But because of God’s grace, instead of a sinner, a saint emerges. This is all possible by faith.
No matter what happens look for the good and you will find it. What a positive person does is develop the habit of looking for the best results even from the worst conditions. We can look at a land and see giants or we can see a land flowing with milk and honey.
I had laid back a September issue of the Brooke Hills Beacon, and I had highlighted the following that I want to repeat for you. It said to continually examine your attitude toward God to see if you are willing to go out in every area of your life, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in constant wonder, because you don’t know what God is going to do next. Each morning you wake, there is a new opportunity to go out, building your confidence in God.
I copied this quote from Jerry Shirley’s “Church on Fire” sermon. He quoted R.G. Lee who said, “God never intended for the church to be a refrigerator in which to preserve perishable piety. He intended it to be an incubator in which to hatch our converts.”
Beginning today, I dare you to try a little experiment with me. To everyone you meet, whether it’s at a gas station, at a store, at home, at work or at church—try to say something positive and uplifting. Do this for one day this week and see what happens, You’ll probably have a great day. Why? Because positive words create a loving, creative environment in which to live.
If you're interested, look up these sermons on the Internet for more reading or study. I have only touched parts of them. There are many more good points mentioned.
Article written by Bruce Cook
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