Our Attitude – a recent exhortation

George Bernard Shaw once wrote;

‘Attitude is the public face of the private thinker, it’s how we present ourselves to others, the smile, the words. The inner-self, made public.’

Attitude is everything. Our problems, whatever they are, are not really the problem – it’s our attitude to the problem, that is the problem.

We can change the most difficult circumstances into something quite different, we can change the negative into something positive. Even when you can’t change the direction of the wind – one can adjust the sails!

It is one’s attitude that is critical – the ultimate example is contained in Philippians 2:5.

“Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, he humbled himself …”

Everything that follows: the statement about the nature of Jesus, his sacrifice and his resurrection has no meaning for us unless we take on board this opening phrase; everything is dependent upon our attitude to life – this is the link between us and Jesus. Attitude is critical, attitude is everything.

W C Fields wrote;

‘Attitude is more important than education, money, circumstances, than what people say or do, its more important than appearance, dress or status. Attitude is everything.’

This is the unstated theme underpinning the letter of James. It’s all about attitude towards trials & temptations – it’s not what we suffer or why we suffer but our response to suffering (James 1:12) listening & doing (James 1:22-25) respect for the other person (James 2:9) faith and deeds (James 2:24) use of the tongue (James 3:13), submission to God (James 4:10) & each other. Its not just about what we think, but about what we do & how we do it. The latter is the most critical part. It’s not about what we believe and do but the way in which we believe and do – It’s our attitude that matters!

However, it’s not just our attitude that matters, it’s often ‘we’ who cause another’s attitude to be negative & unresponsive! I share some thoughts from a little booklet I recently picked up in a local church about ‘Soul Wounding’! An imaginative idea that is closely related to our subject.
The writer imagines a satirical sketch where he is covered in bandages. The bandage over his head will be for ‘the ears that are burning’ and the ‘nose out of joint’ the bandage around his back for the ‘stabs in the back’ he has received, his feet bandaged for the damage caused by people ‘standing on his toes’. You get the idea – these are the scars that cannot be seen by the naked eye but the pain they cause are as real as physical scars. They wound the soul, the life of the person and they are often caused by the attitude that we adopt to another!

One simple fact resulting from ‘soul wounding’ is that such a problem can affect us for many years, we may carry around with us these scars, untreated and unhealed – they will just fester & cause even greater suffering. We need to avoid causing such problems in the first place & if we are affected, we need to seek treatment – forgiveness & restoration. The answer is to think about ‘our attitude’ and aim to demonstrate a more positive attitude to life and to others so that we & others may be at peace with God and each other.

Colin Edwards

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Additional reading

  1. Life Is A Marathon
  2. Facing our existence every day
  3. We may not be ignorant to get wisdom
  4. Careful not to have God’s wrath poured out upon us taking on the right attitude
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  6. A Royal Rule given to followers of Christ
  7. The works we have to do according to James
  8. Memorizing wonderfully 71: Philippians 4:8 True and Honest things
  9. Today’s thought “Forgive … from your heart” (January 16)
  10. Looking for a spiritual new life
  11. Worthy partakers of the body of Christ
  12. Genuine Christian behavior
  13. If you keep your faith and trust in God
  14. Brothers and sisters in Christ for you

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Related

  1. Perception
  2. Genesis 4:6-7
  3. January 2
  4. Can Versus Will
  5. “Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try.”
  6. Forests
  7. Move
  8. Spiritual Adept Shortcuts Series … by Alice B. Clagett
  9. Two Affirmations to Help Heal the Heart … by Alice B. Clagett
  10. Update on a Prior Blog … by Alice B. Clagett
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2019 A New Year of Prayer

Prayer is so simple. It’s like opening a door and slipping into the presence of God. It’s about having a conversation with Him, sharing our thoughts, our worries, our joys, our thankfulness.

So why do we (why do I) find it so difficult sometimes?

We know from Scripture that an active prayer life is essential to our spiritual health, as individuals and as a church, and the start of a new year seems like a good time to think about ways in which we can sharpen our focus on prayer together.

There’s a general feeling that since some ecclesiae stopped holding regular prayer meetings they have lost a bit of that focus. Though it is good to know that various suggestions were made by their Arranging Committees, looking for ways to develop the prayer life of their community, and one was that they would have a monthly prayer theme which they can centre their prayers around, both as an ecclesia and in their private prayers.

That requires someone to manage/lead/coordinate. But the first thing to say is that this is should always also a community initiative and, if it’s to be relevant and inspiring to everyone, the ideas, the input and the energy need to come from everyone,
young and old.

We at this site shall also some thoughts but you too may let us know how you think we can improve our prayer life, and also what, or who, you would like us to pray for, week on week.

Paul says in Colossians,

“Continue steadfast in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving”,

and giving thanks in prayer is as important as petitioning. Our monthly themes should encompass both. One idea already suggested for a January theme is to remember those who are homeless. This is the worst time of the year to be on the streets, or to be a refugee without a home; news reports are telling us daily about migrants who are desperate enough to risk embarking on small boats to cross the busiest shipping lane in the world.

Over Christmas most of us have most been enjoying the warmth of food and family, so it would be a good time to thank God for those blessings and also to remember those who don’t possess such things, who are out in the cold, physically and metaphorically.

We can pray for COG, for the Food Bank and West Berkshire Homeless and the work we do with them; our praying should then prompt us to even more generous giving to those in need.

A monthly theme like this is a good start. As we focus more and more on prayer, who knows where else this will lead us? It’s an exciting prospect.

Matthew 6 10 (2).jpg

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Related

  1. Being Vulnerable.
  2. Banging On The Lifeless Door
  3. Conversation
  4. Making a Spiritual Connection
  5. A Simple Invitation: A Lesson Learned this Advent Season
  6. Not What I Expected
  7. The Listener
  8. One-on-one with God
  9. Are You Praying Too Much?
  10. When Should We Pray?

To decide what to do with the time that is given


“All we have to decide is
what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien


Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Beslissen wat we moeten doen met de gegeven tijd

Beslissen wat we moeten doen met de gegeven tijd


“Het enige dat we moeten beslissen,
is wat we moeten doen met de tijd die ons is gegeven.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien


English version / Engelse versie > To decide what to do with the time that is given

Niets van de wereld eisend


Wanneer je niets van de wereld eist,
noch van God,
wanneer je niets wilt, niets zoekt, niets verwacht,
dan zal de allerhoogste staat onaangekondigd en onverwacht tot je komen.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

English version / Engelse versie > Demanding nothing of the world

Demanding nothing of the world


When you demand nothing of the world,
nor of God,
when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing,
then the supreme state will come to you uninvited and unexpected.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Niets van de wereld eisend