Let’s test our view of Attitude…
In this image of the horizon indicator in the cockpit of an airplane, what is the status of the airplane in relation to the horizon?
If you answered “level” then you are correct. This is the way a pilot knows if he is flying straight and level, even when you cannot see the horizon.
Now, apply this to your own personality and the attitude you have about life. Answer these questions truthfully. Honestly.
- When you’re thinking to yourself, you tend to use positive words and encouraging phrases.
- You don’t worry about things you can’t control.
- Most to all of your friends have upbeat attitudes.
- In the past month, you’ve described yourself as depressed.
- You tend to think about your strong points more than your weak points.
- Even when things are stressful, you are able to focus on what needs to be done.
- If someone criticizes you, you tend to take it in the worst light.
- You are usually the first person to give out a compliment.
- You have something good to say about everyone, even your enemies.
- When you think about getting older, you are: Pessimistic Optimistic
- You tend to expect the worst in people.
- You are not a procrastinator. You tend to get things done on time.
- When something goes wrong in a group you tend to: Blame yourself or Blame others.
- You tend to be quite afraid of losing people you love.
- You have good posture.
- When talking to strangers, you tend to smile and try to sound friendly.
- Instead of participating in gossip, your rule is to say something nice or nothing at all.
- You tend to like to be well dressed and looking your best.
- You are often reminding yourself what you should be doing.
- You find it easy to forgive people and forget about the bad things that have happened to you.
What would this test say about you? How positive are you? How negative are you? Where do you struggle the most? What changes could you make to have a more positive attitude….
Here are my results!
“You have a positive attitude… Some of the time! – You prefer to see the world through clear glasses, not rose colored glasses…”
What kind of person are you?
- Or, what kind of person are you meant to be?
- The known factors of your life…
- Your DNA, how you were raised, are not always equal to who you have become
- The unknown factor in every situation……Is often your attitude
Your attitude defines how you think… Life, politics, race, career, God, Others, And yourself!
Attitude should be the most important thing in our life. Regardless of the challenges we face in life, it is how we look at them that defines us the best. It is the difference between a happy Christian and an unhappy one. People with the right attitude often have a life full of Joy, regardless of their status in life, family, finances, career, home life, health…
Define Attitude…. Attitude is an inward feeling expressed by behavior.
Attitude is the visible form of how we feel about something on the inside!
- Its roots are inward but its fruit is outward.
- It is our best friend at some times; at other times it is our worst enemy.
- It is more honest and consistent than the words that come out of our mouth.
- It is an outward look based on past experiences.
- It is the thing that draws people to us or repels them from us.
- And it is never content until it is expressed.
- It is the librarian of our past.
- It’s the speaker of our present.
- It’s the prophet of our future.
So how do we adjust and change our attitude? A simple way is simply learning how to think and see the world around you. True, I may see myself in light of my DNA, background, gender, age and any host of a number of other criteria, but my primary view of the world comes from my walk as a Christian.
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5 NKJV)
At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus gives them His Mind… He gives them “beatitudes…”
And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. …” (Matthew 5:1-11 NKJV)
Even with this message of attitude, regardless of your situation, Jesus tells them how to resolve the issues with the status of their attitude. Look at the next verse…
“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:12 NKJV)
Notice his focus. Rejoice. Be Glad. Consider the Apostle Paul as an example. A good man under the law with a focus on eradicating the followers of Jesus. This begins back at the time that his name is still his birth name: Saul
Act 9:1-16 KJV And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, (2) And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. (3) And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: (4) And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (5) And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. (6) And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (7) And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. (8) And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. (9) And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. (10) And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. (11) And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, (12) And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. (13) Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: (14) And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. (15) But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: (16) For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
Long after his ministry is fully established and he is doing the work that Jesus called him to, Paul describes his life of suffering, even though we call him the greatest soul winner.
2Co 11:22-33 KJV Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. (23) Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. (24) Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. (25) Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; (26) In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; (27) In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. (28) Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. (29) Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? (30) If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. (31) The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. (32) In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: (33) And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
Not only did he struggle as previous mentioned, there was something very personably wrong with his body or life.
2Co 12:7-10 KJV And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (8) For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. (9) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (10) Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
So. Paul communicates to the church at Thessalonica. With bullet like comments, Paul gives them seven attitude reminders.
1Th 5:16-27 KJV Rejoice evermore. (17) Pray without ceasing. (18) In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (19) Quench not the Spirit. (20) Despise not prophesyings. (21) Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (22) Abstain from all appearance of evil. (23) And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (24) Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. (25) Brethren, pray for us. (26) Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. (27) I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
Keep a spirit of enthusiasm.
- Verse 19: “Do not quench the Spirit.” ((NIV) Do not put out the Spirit’s fire;)
- In other words, “Keep a spirit of enthusiasm.” Enthusiasm in the original language is God in us!
Welcome life positively.
- Verse 16 : “rejoice always” or “welcome life positively”!
- We have many setbacks in life. We have many curves thrown at us.
- Paul tells us that when things come that would cause us not to rejoice; we should embrace life in a positive way.
Dare to be an open person.
- Verse 17, he tells us to “pray without ceasing.”
- We know what prayer is: communion with God. It is walking with and listening to God. Keep your heart open, let God speak to you. Let Him teach you in all affairs of life. Let Him minister to you.
Exhibit a thankful heart.
- Verses 17: “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- He says that we are to look at life with a heart full of thanksgiving. And an attitude of gratitude concerning what God has blessed us with.
Welcome the future as a friend.
- Verse 20: “Do not despise prophetic utterances.”
- This speaks of things about what will happen in the future. Do not despise them. Jesus showed Paul things he would suffer…
- We need to look forward with Anticipation!
Set goals with care and courage.
- Verse 21: “Examine everything carefully and hold fast to that which is good.”
- Be courageous, be tenacious, as we pursue that which we feel God has for our life.
- Keep the Good, Discard the bad
Overcoming Evil with Good
- Verse 22: Paul says that we are to abstain from every form of evil.
- Not only to abstain from evil, but rather be involved in ministry.
- So, that, we are to overcome evil by doing good.
So, can we overcome a life of negativity with a positive view? Sure. It takes hard work. How do we do it? More about this tomorrow.