In the hopes of maybe improving my own attitude, I thought of doing a post on attitude, maybe even a series of posts.
"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." (Prov. 23:7).
In reality, no one really knows the thoughts of your heart, except you and God. Thus, attitude is something that only you and God can work out, a change which must take place inwardly.
Choosing to Look on the Positive Side
The devil likes to paint a gloomy picture when things do not go as you have planned. And we have all had this in our lives. The devil seeks us out when we are vulnerable and we are never more vulnerable as when we are sad, angry, or disappointed.
When this happens, you need to take your troubles to the Lord in prayer. Letting your situation discourage you is very easy. If you are not careful, you can get a bad attitude about different circumstances that happen and let those things depress you.
The Word of God says to be thankful for the little things. You need to look for the positive in every situation. You should not sit around and feel sorry for yourself or seek to use your problems to gain sympathy from others. Look at all the good things you have. When you start thinking about the good things God has done, it gets your mind off the negative and on the positive.
Often you have no control over many situations you face in life, but you do have complete control over how you react. You can spend all day looking at the negative side of things or you can choose to look at the positive.
You cannot control what people do around you, but you can control how you react to it. You can say, "No matter what happens around me or what others choose to do, I will rejoice in the Lord." Too many times, people look at the negative side of life. God wants you to look on the positive side.
If you look for negative things, that is what you are going to see. On the other hand, if you look for positive things, you will be lifted. You find what you look for. If you seek God's help and divine direction, He will give you what you need.
"Be Careful for Nothing"
Paul said in our Scripture text in Philippians 4:4-6: "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Be careful for nothing. We need to pray about everything. It is easier to pray about big things, such as a house, a new car, a good job, or the right companion. Most people pray about those things, but what about the little things? Sometimes people forget to pray about the little things.
The Lord tells us to pray with thanksgiving. So, you could look at a situation and say, "Lord, help me to keep my spirit right and to be thankful." You need to be careful of how you view things. Remember, things could always be worse. Also, you need to remember that people are watching how you react, and so is God. When adversity comes, how is your attitude? Do you look on the bright side?
Maintaining a Good Attitude
People watch how you react to adversity. If you react in the wrong way, there are consequences. If you allow your temper to get out of control, people will see. If you are sad and depressed all the time, people notice that, and it will leave a mark on their lives. You can go back and apologize for losing your temper or for being grumpy or sad all the time, but the scar will still be there. That will make it difficult for people to get help in their souls. You can witness to people day after day, but if you lose your temper easily, you leave a bad impression on those who saw you. Then, the next time you ask, "Will you come to church with me?" they would probably say, "No. I don't want what you have."
Your attitude is very important. At times it takes much effort to maintain a good attitude, but the attitude that you show is a witness to others. You can slowly plant seeds in people's lives. If you keep the joy of the Lord in your life, you will show people something that they want, the joy of the Lord.
Think on Good Things
Certainly, at times, you have a reason to be upset. Certainly there will be times when someone will do wrong by you. Those things happen. Nevertheless, you have no right to hold them for it. The Word of God says in Hebrews 13:1, "Let brotherly love continue." Many people are not willing to do that. They think on the negative things, but that is not what God has commanded us to do. God wants you to think on godly, holy, pure, honest things.
A wrong or a negative attitude will drain you emotionally and spiritually. If you think on negative things all week, you will go to church on Sunday spiritually drained. I went through this. I would go to church on Sunday to be renewed, but it only lasted for so long. After a while without true joy, even church could not renew me anymore.
Looking to God's Word
God wants you to lean upon Him and look to His Word. He wants you to look to Him to see what to do and how to react. Sometimes you may not know what to do and all you can do is say, "Help me, Lord." God has promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you.
According to my Sunday School teacher, you control your thoughts and emotions. We all have positive emotion which lead to productive action and fruitful consequences. We all occasionally experience negative emotions. If left unchecked, these emotions can lead to unproductive actions and devastating consequences. Our job is to notice or see the negative emotions and cut them off there. We need to guide ourselves back to positive emotions in order to lead a fruitful life.
In church today, we were taught 4 Keys to Spiritual Growth and improving your attitude.
- The Apostles Teachings. Don't stop with just a daily devotional, go deeper in your search for knowledge. Journal or research topics that touch your heart.
- Fellowship. Dive in head first and fellowship with other Christians.
- Breaking of Bread. The act of communion itself keeps a healthy perspective of your relationship with Christ at the forefront of your life.
- Prayer. Prayer works wonders to change us to God's will, not the other way around.
I hope that some of this can help someone else out there. It is definitely something for me to meditate on for a while.