Attitude is Everything?
By Kris Robinson
Phil. 2:5, 3:12-14, 1 Cor. 2:12-16
Dr. Henry Blackaby, is the founder and President emeritus of Blackaby Ministries International, an organization built to help people experience God. One of his best quotes, emphasizing the ‘right’ attitude a Christian should have, goes like this:
“Will God ever ask you to do something you’re not able to do? “Yes!” – all the time! It must be that way for God’s glory & Kingdom. If we function according to our ability alone, we get the glory, if we function according to the power of the Spirit within us, God gets the glory. He wants to reveal Himself to a watching world.”
So, as a Christian, how do you cultivate an attitude of one described by Blackaby?
If you were to ask John Maxwell about attitude; he’d tell you it is one of the most important factors in our thinking, “attitude tells us what we expect from life.” This is because successful people think differently than unsuccessful people. Maxwell goes on to say, “If your attitude toward the world is excellent, you will receive excellent results. If you feel so-so about the world, your response from the world will be average. Feel badly about your world, and you will seem to have only negative feedback from life.”
In other words, what Blackaby & Maxwell are saying is that your attitude can either be one of self-sufficiency, shaped by your thoughts, views and desires; going into the world with a ‘so-so’ feeling, expecting excellent results, doing what we think He wants us to, asking Him to bless our way instead of asking Him first where He is and where He wants us.
Or, we can have the ‘excellent’ mindset the Bible gives explicit examples of:
- Phil. 2:5 “Your attitude should be that of Christ Jesus.” – Servant, humble, obedient to God unto death, leaving the glories of heaven behind”
- John 5:30 “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me.
- James 1:1 “James, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus”
How do I know what my attitude is like?
Ian Cron, author of The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery, says there is a three question process we can ask ourselves to help get us back into the right mindset:
- “What am I currently thinking?” – Too often we lose control of the one thing we can control, and so all we need to do is take a step back and ask ourselves this question to get our attitude back on track, followed by this next question:
- “Is what I am currently thinking true?” – We process a lot of thoughts throughout a day; it’s been said that we have approximately 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day; if so, likely some of those thoughts are lies or implanted lies by the Enemy to trip you up.
- The last question to ask ourselves is, “What would it look like for you to live differently than you are currently?” – Paul tells us exactly how we should turn our thoughts, and thus our lives:
- Phil 4:8 (NIV) – “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Lastly, I leave you with this quote from Chuck Swindoll:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or scale. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past.… We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it, and so it is with you…. We are in charge of our attitudes.”
Paul in 1 Cor. 2:16 says, “But we have the mind of Christ.” Who then should our attitudes reflect?
Kris Robinson is an Assistant Pastor at Free Life Community Church helping teenagers & Millennials connect & transform their spiritual journey through Christ Jesus.