By: Carol Warfield
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made of himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Phil. 2:5-7
You can count on it; we’re all going to experience a certain amount of pain and a certain amount of pleasure as we journey through life. I’ve learned over the years that it isn’t easy to maintain a good attitude when difficult times arrive.
We can’t separate ourselves from our attitude any more than we can separate ourselves from our shadow. For good or for evil the attitude we possess accompanies us everywhere we go. It stands at the core of our being shaping the way we think and feel about almost everything.
– The attitude one has toward his job affects his performance.
– The attitude he has toward his studies affects his grades.
– The attitude he has toward his partner affects his marriage.
– The attitude he has toward his neighbor affects his relationship.
Nothing influences our emotions more deeply than the attitude we possess. It can cause them to swing anywhere from cheerfulness to depression. You don’t have to be around another person very long before you can sniff out what sort of attitude he possesses.
A positive attitude produces a positive person. On the other hand, a sour attitude produces a sour person. A suspicious attitude produces a suspicious person; a resentful attitude produces a resentful person.
In the real sense, we are what our attitude is, because it so thoroughly colors our personality. It’s terribly important to maintain a good attitude even when bad things happen. Our happiness depends upon it!
I don’t remember meeting a happy person who had a bad attitude. It seems to me that a negative attitude, resentment, and unhappiness always go together.
It is possible to maintain a cheerful attitude when bad things happen! That’s exactly what Paul admonishes us to do: “Let this mind be in you,” he says, “which was in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God… made himself of no reputation, (Character derived from public opinion) and took upon himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men.” (Phil.2:5- 7) Paul admonishes us to maintain the same kind of attitude:
– in the midst of our successes and in the midst of our failures.
– in the midst of our joys and in the midst of our sorrows,
– the same that Christ would maintain if He were in our shoes.
This doesn’t leave much room for pride, bitterness, resentment, or self-pity. There are certain things in life we are by nature or birth, rather than by choice, but our attitude isn’t one of them. It didn’t come by birth. It’s something we acquire and also something we can change. We don’t have to live with a negative, suspicious, or distrusting attitude. My attitude is what I choose it to be. I can change it.
Through the love and the power of Christ we call change or return love for hate, blessing for cursing, forgiveness for injury.
THE ATTITUDE WE POSSESS IS ALWAYS A MATTER OF CHOICE
I learned long ago, when I found myself in a situation that I did not like, but could not change, I could adjust my attitude to fit the situation. Our attitudes need to be changed for our own good as well as the good of our family, and the good of our friends. Anyone who possesses a bad attitude is a pain to be around. I’d rather not he there.
I’ve never seen a bad attitude accomplish anything constructive! The only things it ever does is increase our unhappiness. Therefore, to remain loving in the face of injury, trusting in the face of disappointment, forgiving in the face of abuse: Start praising God for the good things you have, your job, your health, your family, your friends and so on, and it will bring happiness to your life.
We must guard our attitude carefully for it has the ability to do us a great deal of harm. Rich rewards will be ours if we go the second mile, give others the benefit of the doubt, be quick to forgive and by all means remain thankful for the blessings we receive.
My greatest prayer is that I will display an attitude that will bring honor to my family, loved ones, neighbors, country, and above all my Lord and Savior, Jesus.
Lord, enlighten my eyes so I can see myself and strive to attain the attitude that You showed while here on earth. You were an example for each of us to look to. You attitudes were: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22)
From, “Louisiana Challenger”/September 2008/Page 8, by Carol Warfield