ATTITUDE (Part 1)                                         

As the Olympics wind down here in Vancouver, new heroes have been crowned and young people have become overnight sensations in their nations and in some cases in the world. The difference between first and tenth in many sports is less then 5 seconds or just a few points in the scores. They all have many things in common, a love and dedication to their sport and true discipline. As we know we realize this sort of thing does not happen overnight; as we mentioned last week the sacrifices of time and money are monumental. One of the things that truly sets a world class athlete apart from someone who does not make it is attitude. My Dad used to have some funny sayings when my attitude was poor; he would say "David, shape up and fly right" or "if you don't change your behavior I will fix your wagon".  What he was saying was, fix your attitude! A good attitude in any context of life can be a true benefit to each of us. Many people who are successful in this life we do admire for their ability to overcome great adversity, but usually their attitude is confined to whatever will make them successful. Many successful people are able to do something well but have poor life skills in other areas. The attitude I am speaking about will be things that won't just confine us to one thing in life but will transcend into the areas of our life where we will be defined by the quality of our character.  

First of all, our attitude toward God is key. What is your attitude towards God? How do you see Him in your life? John 14:6 says that Jesus "is the way, the truth and life, that no one comes to the Father except through Him". That is a fundamental truth to believing by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our attitude towards that particular truth is crucial to our attitude towards God. If we don't believe this cornerstone fact of the Christian faith then it is very difficult to proceed further in our attitude towards God. Believing by faith is the first and most necessary ingredient. 

John Maxwell, a well know Christian author and motivational teacher, communicates to a diversity of organizations about the area of attitude that we all need to be looking at in our lives. Maxwell says; "What is attitude? When you hear the word, what do you think about? I think of attitude as an inward feeling expressed by outward behavior. People always project on the outside what they feel on the inside. Some people try to mask their attitude, and they can fool others for a while. But that cover up doesn't last long. Attitude always wiggles its way out". Its like the four year old boy who was put into a time out by his mother. "Sit in the chair until the timer goes off" the mother said in frustration. The boy sat down, fearing greater punishment, but said "okay Mommy. I'm sitting on the outside, but I'm standing up on the inside". Our attitude colors every aspect of our lives. It has been said its like the mind's paintbrush. It can paint in vibrant colors creating a masterpiece or it can make everything look dark and dreary. When we become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God indwells us upon conversion. A new attitude is created based on our belief and trust in the Living God and as God's spirit lives within us our attitude and sensitivity to sin is alerted to reflect God's standard. The scriptures also state in 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come".  Many characters in the bible showed that change of attitude, such as Mary Magdalene, Zacchaeus, the apostle Paul and the list goes on. The primary thing we discover though is that we still can have overtones of our sinful nature affect us.  

Often we will ask the question Where did I get my attitude from? In the next installment we will discuss this and bridge it into our relationship to God and how we view life in general. I wish to leave you though with this quotation though on how important and pervasive our attitude is.

It is the vanguard of your true self.

Its root is inward but its fruit is outward.

It is your best friend or worst enemy.

It is more honest and consistent about you than your words.

It is your outward look based on your past experiences.

It is what draws people to you or repels them.

It is never content until it is expressed.

It is the librarian of your past.

It is the speaker of your present.

It is the prophet of your future. 


By: Pastor David Jones