We tend to think of an attitude as a bad thing. We commonly hear parents of teenagers saying things like “he has an attitude”. But we can have a positive attitude or a negative attitude. We can have an attitude of gratitude or a complaining attitude. We can have an attitude that changes the world for the better or one that will change it for the worse.
Many things can affect our attitude… but only if we let them. Because, truthfully, our attitude is our choice. We may not be able to control everything that happens around us, or even to us, but we can control how we react to those things. We might even start out with a good attitude, only to find that it has gone sour somewhere along the way. How can we rightly judge our attitude? It’s always easy to see someone else’s, no always so easy to determine our own.
Matthew 12:34 says, “For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” A great place to start is to listen to what you are saying and before we can speak it out it goes through our heads first. So our thoughts are even more important, but usually it is easier to listen to our mouths as a starting point. Are you a “negative Nelly”? Are you quick to find fault in others, yourself, with your job, your finances…the weather? When discussions come up about changes, a new project or plans for the future, are you the one saying, “it will never work.”
Our attitude also affects our service to God. Over the years, I have seen many people (including myself) who have committed to serve in some way, greeting, ushering, or maybe working in the nursery, wanting to help out and be a part of the family, only to hear them speak negatively about it down the road. It started with the comments (or thoughts) of “I’d like to stay home today, but I have to usher again,” Next comes the “I greeted three times this month, can’t someone else ever do it”, and before you know it they become dissatisfied with almost everything. Those comments are red flags for an attitude adjustment. When serving becomes your only reason for attending church, instead of a genuine love for God, His word, and fellowship, you’re in trouble. If we don’t get our attitude right, soon we will be dropping out of serving, feeling burnt out and resentful, feeling like we don’t have a reason to go to church anymore. I’ve seen individuals and whole families fall victim to this bad attitude. Serving God, in any capacity is an honor, not a duty, obligation or a drudgery. The motivation has to be love.
It can be the same at your job. If you are working just for a paycheck, your attitude can quickly go south. You’ll think the hours are too long, the pay isn’t enough, your boss is selfish and the other workers are lazy. God hasn’t put you in that job just to provide for you financially, but so that you can be a light and show the love of Christ. Be a blessing to your employer. Set an example, work hard,(Christians should be the best workers in any job). Otherwise you will start to join in the complaints, maybe even become disrespectful to your supervisors or boss. This attitude doesn’t glorify God and eventually you will quit or get fired, or worse yet, just live a grouchy unthankful life.
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Colossians 3:23). Sounds pretty simple. We should help others, at church and in our personal lives. Make hats and mittens for the homeless and don’t complain about the cost of yarn or shipping (that one is for me). Serve in the church , joyfully, gratefully, knowing that you are blessing others and pleasing god. Be that city on a hill at your job, light the way to Jesus.