Suggested Reading: Ephesians 4:17-23
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—Ephesians 4:23
We could not even begin to count the number of books written, OR the sermons preached, and counsel given about the hazards and risks of a bad attitude and the power of a good one.
The definition of attitude is,
“A settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior, position of the body, proper to, or implying an action or mental state. Truculent or uncooperative behavior, resentful or antagonistic manner.”
We have all met people who may be exceptionally beautiful or attractive on the outside but because their attitude was unattractive, nasty, or ugly, their inner countenance outshone their outer beauty, or attractiveness was canceled out or not noticed at all. Attitude flows out of the heart. Is telling of the heart’s health or unhealthiness, whether it is clean or unclean. A right and good attitude can elevate you and a bad attitude can destroy you.
There are many things that might contribute to or account for the attitude we have. Many times, people are hurt, betrayed, have incurred soul wounds that are deep, hurtful, and damaging, and their attitude has been influenced by what has happened to them. Oftentimes people who have been betrayed or let down by their spouse or someone close to them, take on a certain attitude, become determined that no one else will ever hurt them again, and are hardened in their heart and attitude.
Sometimes people have experienced deep losses and determine never to get close to anything or anyone else ever again, and their attitude is affected by their inability to heal from their loss, keeping all people at a distance, becoming cold and lifeless. They may feel protected by a hardened attitude, but while they are successful in keeping themselves or others from being close to them, they also succeed in keeping the blessings, comfort, healing, and help of God from ministering to them.
God wants us to have a positive attitude. In fact, having a positive attitude is our Christian duty regardless of what we have experienced in life. We may be surprised at how often it is our positive, hopeful attitude that attracts others to the Jesus we know and love. So impressed by our strength and ability to look up when all things indicate that we should be doing anything but that.
It is amazing how Jesus kept a good and positive attitude all of his life, and even as he drew closer to the time of his suffering and death he kept a good attitude. Not many people, knowing they are going to die for something they did not even do, would keep a good or positive attitude. But he did not become resentful, he did not hang on the cross cursing his enemies or asking God to reign down fire on everyone who hurt him, or to send an legion of angels to destroy everyone responsible, but even from the cross blessed his enemies, interceded for them and loved them in his heart.
Our life journey may not have been a good wone. We may have experienced all kinds of abuses, terrible circumstances, hurts from others, things that put us in bad positions, but we can still have a good attitude. We can still fulfill our Christian duty of having and keeping a good attitude which is also a holy attitude.
How can we do this? I’m glad you asked! We can do this by inviting Jesus into our heart and asking him to change or transform our bad attitude and turn it into a good one. Part of the restoration God offers us is to have a healthy attitude. He is willing to do this in and for us because he knows a bad attitude not only does not serve us but hinders and imprisons us. It hinders and imprisons us relationally, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually because our bad attitude keeps the glory of God from working in us and shining through us; keeps the blessing of God from getting to us as God wants, keeps the healing of God from reaching us.
Things happen in life sometimes no one is at fault, bad things just happen because we live in a sinful world, with a planet of damaged people, and we all share this fallen environment. And sometimes bad things happen because people set out to do bad things to us, other times bad things happen because our adversary has planned destruction for us. But the words of Jesus are so appropriate here when he said, “In this world (life) you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world (trouble).” There is no point in having or keeping a bad attitude, or taking things out on others or punishing God or yourself because life has been unfair. But there is great blessing in having and keeping a positive, upbeat, hopeful attitude. God can work through, bless, and use that kind of attitude.
When our children were growing up, we did not let them stew in a bad attitude. We did not let them go sit off alone and fume about what had been done to them, or nurse a bad attitude, but made sure they turned it around and let God change their attitude so their experience could be used for good. To this day each one of them keeps a good, upbeat, positive, hopeful attitude and godly perspective regardless of what they are experiencing. And some of their life situations have been very difficult to bear up under.
Bad attitudes will not get us promotions, will not elevate us to the highest places of responsibility, will not fix our problems; only hold us back and keep us down. But when we are determined to develop a good attitude, keep a good attitude, manifest a good attitude, mimic the beautiful, holy attitude of our Savior, Jesus we will find the blessings of God flow through our lives and effect so much good we can hardly handle it. A good attitude may be our Christian duty but it is also our key to capturing inner joy and peace, and experiencing good things, great blessings from God. Let’s Pray
Dear God, we thank you for helping us know and better understand the ways of Christian duty. Teach us your ways, O Lord! Help us to have a good attitude even when things do not go our way or life is not working out as we planned or expected. Keep us from becoming bitter or having a bad attitude and especially from taking things out on others or making life for others and ourselves miserable. Forgive our attitudes that do not glorify you and grow us always to be more reflective of our Lord and Savior Jesus in every way, in whose name we pray. Amen
Pastor's wife, mother of four adult children, grandmother, Devotional Writer, Biblical Counselor, Mental Health Coach, Women's Life Coach, Avid Encourager of the young and old. Inspiring others to live their best life in Christ. Inspiring new confidence and courage, giving hope, renewing the soul and coming alongside through daily, biblical encouragement.