Jimmy Evans with Marriage Today wrote this article about our attitudes in marriage. We talked over the last week about love being thoughtful and believing the best. It is easier to have a negative attitude. Let’s admit it – it is easier to be rude and irritable rather than place ourselves to the side and focus on our spouse.
1) Attitudes are a choice
2) God rewards good attitudes
3) Good attitudes predict success, and bad attitudes predict failure
Be Strong. Have a good attitude.
“Few things determine success or failure in life like our personal attitude—our perspective, our way of thinking, and how it’s represented in our behavior. Attitudes are not isolated. They run in groups. Families have attitudes. Sports teams have attitudes. Even churches can have particular attitudes.
In Romans 12, the apostle Paul wrote, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
He says not to be conformed to the way the world thinks. A believer should not react to the world or behave in the world just like everyone else.
So do you have a godly attitude or a worldly attitude?
Author and speaker John Maxwell describes attitude as “the advance man of our true selves.” Your attitude goes before you. Its roots are inward but its fruits are outward. Our attitude can be more honest and consistent than our words.
Our attitude is what draws people toward us…and what repels them.
I like to describe attitude as the librarian of our past. When we go into our past and retrieve past events, our attitude will either categorize an event as good and make us grateful, or cause us to think about the bad, making us bitter.
When you think about the past, do you tend to dwell on positive or negative things? That could tell you a great deal about your overall attitude. Here are a few truths you should know about our attitudes:
First, attitudes are a choice. You can decide to have a good attitude or a negative attitude. They are not caused by circumstances, but by perspective.
A great example of this is the successful motivational speaker, author, and psychologist Viktor Frankl. His family and wife were killed by Nazis in World War II concentration camps.
Frankl was put into forced labor, but he deliberately chose to suffer with dignity. He chose not to hate. Though the Nazi regime defeated him physically, he was never defeated spiritually. He chose to go through life with a good attitude. People who are happy are happy because they have chosen that outlook in life.
Second, God rewards good attitudes and disciplines bad attitudes. Successful parents do the same thing. With children, you don’t wait until a negative mindset turns into negative behavior. You discipline the attitude.
Consider James 4:6—”God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Pride and humility are both attitudes. We chose them, and they begin to dictate our actions. That’s why God opposes our bad attitudes. He loves us too much not to fight us when we’re going the wrong direction.
Third, good attitudes predict success, and bad attitudes predict failure. In the Psalms, when David was struggling, he chose to focus on God. He worshiped and trusted God despite his doubts or frustrations. That tenacity is what leads a person to success. It predicts whether he or she escapes the bad times or not.
Take a look at your own attitude. Is it positive or negative? Is it godly or worldly? If you find yourself going through life with a bad attitude, then I have good news: You can change. Make that decision today. The choice is up to you.”