A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
John Maxwell wrote, “Do you feel the world is treating you well? If your attitude toward the world is excellent, you will receive excellent results. If you feel so-so about the world, your response from that world will be average. Feel badly about your world and you will seem to have only negative feedback from life.”
Nothing shapes us more in life, whether for good or ill, than our attitudes. That one person can be broken by problems in his life and another comes through stronger facing those same problems testifies to this truth. Like the old saying goes, it’s not what happens to you in life but what you do with it. So how’s your attitude?
Do you have a proper attitude toward adversity?
[Job] said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. (Job 1:21-22) You may indeed have a tough and trying challenge ahead of you. But you can know this—self-pity never made any job any easier. You are not unique in your suffering. Other people have been through trials like yours and have endured to the glory of God. It’s not a matter of can you but will you?
Do you have a proper attitude toward service?
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! (Psalm 100:1-2) Is serving God and serving other people something you do gladly or grudgingly? Do you tend to whistle or whine while you work? Jesus said “The greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11). That’s upside down from the way the world thinks. The world says your greatness is determined by who and how many are waiting on you hand and foot. Jesus says you grow great by growing humble. And if you really want to be a mature servant, don’t worry about whether anyone notices the good you do or rewards you for it. God knows. That is enough (Matthew 6:1-4).
Do you have a proper attitude toward others?
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; (Philippians 4:5). Jesus says the world’s way is to just be kind to those who are kind to us (Matthew 5:43-47). Do you snub people or give them a cold shoulder because you’ve got a problem with them? Do you especially treat people nice who are part of your group or clique? If so, then you’re acting like the world. But if you openly treat all people with kindness and warmth, then you’re acting like your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:48).
We can’t control everything or everyone we come in contact with. But we can always control our attitude. What will be yours?