“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32.
Your attitude impacts everything. It directs your thoughts, your energy and most of all, the actions you take.
Charles Swindoll wrote a wonderful paragraph about attitude in his book, Strengthening Your Grip. He said: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church … a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”
A man attended a morning church service. He grimaced because the music was too loud. He glared in disapproval at a couple whispering. He looked repeatedly at his watch. He wondered why the church was asking for so much information on the connection card. He shook his head when the wrong powerpoint slide came up on the screen. He snuck out during the altar call muttering to himself, “well that wasn’t a very good service, why did I bother?”
Another man went to church on the same Sunday. He smiled broadly when he saw how much those serving in the Kids Ministry enjoyed their work. He shook the greeters hand and returned a warm “good morning.” He raised his hands and sang “And I ran out of that grave” when the band played Glorious Day. He smiled when the sermon helped him with a question he had on his mind. He was praying for those far from the heart of God during the altar call and rejoiced when several people made a commitment to follow God. As he left the church, he thought to himself, “How good it was to be in God’s presence today.”
Both men had gone to the same church, on the same Sunday, and each had found exactly what he was looking for. Our attitudes are an outward display of what’s taking place in our hearts. When our hearts focus in the right place, our attitudes will too.
- How do you define attitude? Why is it important to realize that we choose our attitudes?
- Does having a good attitude mean we have to be Pollyanna, wearing rose-colored glasses or ignoring real-world challenges and being fake?