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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