Attitude – An outward expression of an inward feeling or opinion. A settled way of thinking or feeling, typically reflected in a person’s behavior.
Our Attitude is the one thing we can always have control over…
What does The Word say about attitude?
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” Philippians 1:27
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ” Philippians 2:5
There are plenty examples of bad days in Scripture…but “bad moods” aren’t permissive anywhere…
What was Jesus’ attitude like? The Scriptures tell us that Jesus is our model for perfection and holiness. His attitude was perfect. It was perfect because he set out to please His Father in everything. He prayed about everything and worried about nothing. He sought God’s guidance in every aspect of life and allowed Him to work out His will without his interference. Since unveiling God’s glory was Jesus’ priority, he was patient in the midst of trials, hopeful in the midst of suffering, and humble in the midst of blessing. He entrusted himself entirely to His Father, God.
Your attitude is not your shield! Your God is your shield (Psalm 3:3). Your faith in His goodness and Sovereignty is your shield (Ephesians 6)
“Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” Colossians 3:10
“…be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
God’s ultimate goal for us is not our comfort or even our happiness, but the transformation of our minds into the attitude of godliness. He wants us to become like Him.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Hebrews 13:15
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5
Our attitudes are tools that God has given us to create environments for His Spirit to move. With our attitudes we can posture ourselves to receive from God, and we can influence others to be touched by God, perhaps for the first time. His word encourages us to have the attitude of Christ because it is with this attitude that He is released to work among His children. Having a positive attitude does not mean we are “fake.” It means we are hopeful! It means that we have handed even our minds over to God to be transformed. We can’t ignore difficult thoughts and feelings. But we can control how we allow these thoughts and feelings to manifest and influence our behavior and our perception of God and others.
Your attitude is a choice. God would not command us to control and choose our thoughts if we were incapable of doing so. Let’s take some time to consider attitudes that might be influencing others or thwarting a work that God wants to do in you or around you right now.
What negative attitudes have you held on to today?
How can we change our attitudes? God gave us a pretty good hint! Change our way of thinking…in the world of therapy this is often spoken of in the context of “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” which goes something like this: Your thoughts influence your feelings which influence your behaviors.
1) Identify problem thinking. It is vital that we remain aware and in control of our thought life. When you have some of those negative attitudes listed about, what are some of the thoughts you are having? What are you telling yourself?
2) Identify problem behaviors. What triggers your wrong behaviors? Steer clear of triggering environments when possible, but when impossible – take your thoughts captive and ask for God’s grace to think like He thinks.
3) Identify right thinking. Write down this desirable way of thinking. If you identify problem thinking as you telling yourself “I can never do this” then your desirable way of thinking could be “I can do all things through Christ.” Put these “right thinking” statements in places where you will see them throughout the day. Put them in places that you will see during triggering situations.
4) Have an accountability person. It is important to have an individual in our lives who will ask how our thought life is going. Plan one time per week to meet with this person and to tell the person how you are doing in taking your thoughts captive.
Part 5 of grief & loss curriculum