Jan 20, 2014

5 Attitude Adjustments that will Change Everything

We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.  In many ways we are powerless over the many things that effect our lives.  But there is one thing that we can change that changes everything:  Attitude 

Winston Churchill said “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

Our attitude effects our perspective, how we view the people and the events that happen around us and to us.  Attitude determines our reaction to what happens to us and around us.  Attitude directs our actions.

Until we come to grips and change the one thing that we really can change, then things will never change.  We will never be able to experience the fullness of life that God has for us.  We will never be able to see life in the fresh light that Jesus gives in the new man.

In Paul’s exhortation to the church of Colosse he challenges them to make some attitude adjustments that reflect the new man and nature of Christ

Colossians 3:12  Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

5 Attitude Adjustments that will Change Everything

1. Put off Selfishness and Put on Compassion
Compassion and selfishness have a lot in common.  The heart.  Both are born and developed deep inside of us.   Selfishness is heartfelt, deep, concern for self.  Compassion is a heartfelt deep concern for others.

Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
You don’t need to worry about yourself so much.  God’s got you handled.  He promises that he has your needs and your future taken care of.  The Christian is called to an attitude of self denial and trust in the provision and protection of God.  Selfishness and self-centeredness is lack of trust.  Put down a concern for ourselves to pick up a concern for others.

2.  Put off Anger and Put on Kindness
Allow me to be blunt for a moment.  Some of you are rude and honestly you are jerks.  Honestly, we all have a tendency to be this way, myself especially.  Mean things come out of our months quicker than kind things.  We display a mean spirit and are rude.  I can call you a jerk because, I am a pretty bad jerk from time to time too.

Maybe it’s because we’re selfish.  Maybe we are angry at something that’s happened.  Maybe we’ve let what other people have done to us plant bitterness in our hearts.  Maybe we really just don’t realize how harsh and rude we can be and we’re unaware of the way we hurt others.  Stop.  Be kind.  Be a friend. 

We’ve all heard this from our mothers many times: “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Don’t be a jerk.  You can change that.

3.  Put off Pride and Put on Humility
Pride is an inflated self-image.  It’s a self-sufficiency.  A self-reliance.  An over self-confidence.  It causes us to think high of ourselves and low of others.   It causes us to ignore our need for help and our own short comings.  It causes us to talk over people, look over people, to not find value in other people and what they have to offer.  It causes us to rely solely on ourselves and ignore the help and uniqueness of others and our need for others.  It causes us to think others need to change, but we don’t need to change. 

Listen, you are not a great as you think you are.  You need a Savior.  You need help, counsel, and instruction from others.  You can’t do it all and you can’t handle it all.  Pride is a dangerous thing.
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall

 4.  Put off Arrogance and Put on Meekness
Jesus said, “blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth” Matthew 5:5
Arrogance is an unrestrained display of your strengths and talents.  It’s a result of our pride.  We understand that we are good at something and we make sure everyone else understands it too.  We display arrogance in strength, power, money, talents, humor, looks, intelligence, work ethic, knowledge, etc. 

Meekness is an understanding of all these things, but a gentle display of them.  Meekness is not weakness.  It realizes your strong points, but restrains them so that they can be used effectively and strategically.

Horses are powerful animals and much stronger than humans, but they allow themselves to be controlled by us so their power can be used effectively.  Be a horse.

A meek spirit it born out of humility and wisdom.  A meek person knows what he is great at and was his strengths are, but is wise as to how and when to use them.  Arrogant people are nauseating to be around, but we love being around meek people. 

5.  Put off Impatience and Put on Patience 
This is where it all comes out.  We live a fast food world.  We want it now and we want everything and everyone to go our way.  But truth be told we cannot change the pace and actions of others or the world we live in.  Impatience is a combination of arrogance, pride, anger, and selfishness all working together.  Impatience is being short tempered, patience is being long temper.  We are slow to anger rather than quick to anger.  People and life require patience.  The world and God are not working and living on your time table and your agenda.  You and I are living on His.

Attitude is everything.  It’s the only thing that you can change that will change everything.  So dump the attitude of the old self and put on the new attitude of Christ.

The world could use a lot more people who are compassionate, kind, humble, meek, and patient…a lot more people who are like Jesus.