Tag Archives: attitude

December 15; Attitude Check

Philemon; Philippians 1-2

I remember that, as an adolescent girl, I could be a bit moody. No really, I could. I could get upset over what now seems insignificant, but at the time seemed the end of the world. And I remember on more than one occasion, during one of my displays of emotion, I’d hear the stern voice of my Dad say, “Change your attitude.”

It was not a suggestion.

I hear God say the same thing to me today. I hope you’ll read Philippians 2:5-11, and do an attitude check on yourself. Paul tells us our attitudes should be the same as Jesus’.

I’ve always loved these verses which speak of what Jesus did to pay for my sins, the lengths He went to die on a cross. And these verses thrill me every time I read about the Name of the One I love.

The truth is, I have no reason to have a bad attitude. I have no reason for self-pity, jealousy, bitterness. When I get a good look at what Jesus gave up to ransom me, and I realize He never complained or regretted what He’d lost, I am ashamed to remember the times when I made a big deal of things unimportant in the light of eternity.

I don’t believe God is talking about sadness, or grief, or disappointment as being sinful. Those were emotions Jesus Himself felt. But God is speaking to me about my overall attitude when bad – or good – things happen.

Paul says IF I have any encouragement from being united with Christ, IF any comfort from His love, IF I have fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and IF I have received tenderness and compassion, (I emphasized the “ifs” because of course I have received all of that and more. It’s not an “if.” It’s a definite) then change your attitude!

Time for an attitude check. May my attitude, and yours, be the same as that of Jesus.

March 6; It Might Be Contagious

Numbers 19-21

Jacob’s descendants, the Israelites, went to Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, to ask permission to cut through their property on their way to the Promised Land. When last we saw the brothers they were reunited, their past differences seemingly forgiven. But here we are hundreds of years later, and the bad feelings seem to have resurfaced. The king of Edom threatened to go to war with his cousins if they stepped foot on his land.

I don’t know why the Edomites reacted so strongly against Israel, why they didn’t trust them to walk through the land and keep their word not to disturb anything. Was it because Esau didn’t trust Jacob so many years ago? Was that something the Edomites grew up believing? “Never trust a son of Jacob.”

Was it because of jealousy? “Why are Jacob’s descendants so blessed by God? We’re Abraham’s sons, too.” Was their refusal to allow the Israelites to cut through their land just meanness toward people they envied?

It has me thinking about the things we say, the attitudes we display, the prejudices and opinions we express in our homes and in front of our children. Many people are able to break away from toxic parenting, and allow God to shape their attitudes instead of simply adopting their parents’ attitudes. Many are not able to do that, and live their lives with the same destructive thoughts and actions as their parents and, often, their grandparents.

But there is a flip side. If peace, and love, and holiness, patience, kindness, and joy are lived in your home, just maybe your children will follow your lead when they are old enough to choose their own attitudes. Just maybe they will learn from you to base their view of the world on God’s Word instead of the nightly news, to love instead of hate, to be holy instead of blending in with the world.

Which gets me thinking about something else. What kind of attitudes and opinions are rubbing off me and onto the people with whom I have contact? I represent God, or religion, or the Church, or Christianity when I wear Christ’s name, when I profess to be a Christian. Do I want people to adopt my opinion of God, my view of the world, my attitude toward sin and forgiveness?

I believe our attitudes and our beliefs are contagious. What are others catching from us?

September 27 – Don’t Dance

Nehemiah 6-7

I watched some of the Presidential debate last night. I have to confess I turned it off after about 45 minutes. My blood pressure was going through the roof. I’d had enough of watching that example of how NOT to handle a bully.

And there were three of them on that stage. One hid behind a desk, one hid behind a condescending smile, and the other wore that familiar scowl. But they all acted like bullies, and all of them reacted badly to being bullied by the others. (only my opinion)

Nehemiah is a great example of how to handle bullies. He refused to react, or to sling mud back. He recognized the lies and refused to take the attacks personally. And he never lost focus on the job at hand, on what was really important.

I used to tell the Middle School students I counseled that most of the time bullies do and say mean things so they can watch you dance. Nehemiah didn’t dance.

If you are the recipient of some kind of bullying, I hope you learn from Nehemiah’s example and NOT from the dance we witnessed last night. You’ll never out-bully a true bully, anyway. But you can shut him or her down if you refuse to stoop to their level.

At least that’s what I get from Nehemiah’s example. And I’m thinking if God put it there in His Word, there must be something to it.

Jan 29 – Why Jacob?

Genesis 48-50

Did you read about Jacob’s funeral today? Jacob, the father of Pharaoh’s trusted servant Joseph, received quite a burial. Even the Egyptians wept for him for seventy days. I can only imagine the funeral procession, with Jacob’s large family, plus all Pharaoh’s servants, all the elders, all Joseph’s household, Pharaoh’s chariots and horsemen who traveled to Canaan for the graveside service. This was a man who was given the ultimate honor.

But why? What was Jacob to Pharaoh except the father of Joseph?

Then it hit me. As a Christian, people look at me as the child of my Heavenly Father. Do they honor God because of how I live my life? They should.

My mom, especially when the cancer slowed her down, was so appreciative if one of us girls would visit someone who was ill, did something for someone in need, because she felt that, by extension, she was a part of that act of kindness. I loved being Moms’ arms and legs when she couldn’t get out and do those things herself.

Even today, twenty years after her death, I love it when someone says my Mom would be proud of me, or when I think something I do reflects positively on her.

How much more so my Heavenly parent?

Dear Father, I want to be the kind of daughter who reflects positively on You. I want people to honor You because of what I do, what I say, how I treat people. Make me ever aware that my life, by extension, represents You to people who still need to know of Your saving grace.