Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Put on your new nature, created to be like God—
truly righteous and holy.
EPHESIANS 4:23-24 (NLT)
No one who is alive and breathing has a perfect attitude all of the time. I know that I certainly don’t! Although most of us readily admit that our attitudes need adjustment – especially if suffering has revealed some of our less desirable attitude tendencies – but the thought of actually changing our attitudes can be overwhelming.
Instead of owning up to our bad attitudes we often times justify them by reasoning – “I’ve been sick for so long. If anyone has earned the right to be pessimistic it is me.” Or we may choose to blame others when our attitudes fall short – “My family life was so hard growing up that I learned to be self-centered just to survive.”
At other times we may refuse to see the harm in our attitudes – “So what if I have a pity party? It isn’t hurting anyone.” And sometimes we simply deny our need to deal with problem attitudes – “My attitude just isn’t that big a deal. Look at all the other things I am doing right.”
If any of these justifications sound familiar to you then take note. There is one unchanging and inescapable reason for correcting our bad attitudes – God tells us to!
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
PHILIPPIANS 2:5 (NLT)
Why would God care about our attitudes?
First of all, we are God’s beloved children and bad attitudes are detrimental to us and the life He wants us to live. Bad attitudes create distance in our relationship with Him and lead to brokenness and dysfunction in our relationships on earth. God wants to heal our brokenness and set us free from attitudes that perpetuate pain.
Second, as God’s beloved children we are heirs to all of His creation. He wants us to mature into that heritage and position. He wants us to have the same attitudes that Jesus did because these attitudes befit our divine nature and calling. When we are hurting we easily lose sight of who we are and where we are headed. So dealing with our attitudes is a foundational part of our training to be more like Christ.
In his book, A Small Book About God, Roy Hicks, Jr. sums up why our attitudes are so important…
“You will never become what you want to become,
let alone what God wants you to become,
until you become a person who accepts responsibility
for who you are and
begin to respond in a godly way to life’s circumstances.”
I know that there are many times I need an attitude adjustment and I run out of excuses forcing me to face the fact that I need to make an attitude change. And after many failed attempts to change my attitude in my own strength, there is nothing left for me to do but to allow the God to transform me into a new person by changing the way I think. So my advice to you if you are in need of an attitude adjustment…
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think.
Then you will learn to know God’s will for you,
which is good and pleasing and perfect.
ROMANS 12:2 (NLT)
On the Journey with You,