“Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.”- 1 John 2:7-8
Sometimes, my attitude stinks! There, I confessed it. I know my attitude should always be in check, but I think one of the curses of the fall was poor and sour attitudes when things don’t go our way at times. I'm just glad it's not all the time.
I have a 3 year old at home right now who is teaching me a lot about attitude. He holds himself in such a cute way, always smiling, making funny faces, and doing goofy things. However, when a Cheerio is missing or his blue blanket was left upstairs, I better get my SWAT shield and shin guards.
I am trying to teach him about why he shouldn’t get angry and out of control when he doesn't get his way, but he is three, so it is going to take some time.
When he has a break down with screaming, crying, and kicking, I always feel like it reflects on my parenting. I especially feel this way when we are in public.
We were at a play area a couple weeks ago and when I told him it was time to leave, I quickly retracted when he fell to the ground and started wailing! I looked around and saw other parents staring at me, some with consoling looks as if to say, “Yep”, but then there are others with the look of, “C’mon dad! Be strong! Oh, you failed.”
At least that’s how I took it.
So, of course, I instantly thought about how my attitude reflects my Father.
Our attitude affects many aspects of our life, but there are three key areas that make it very important to check our attitude on a regular basis.
Here are 3 main reasons we need to be aware of our attitudes influence:
1) Our attitude reflects our relationship with Jesus: When we have a God who comes in the flesh and says, we need to be the “light to the world” (Matt. 5:14), then we should live by that. Our attitude will either create more darkness or make the world brighter.If we get upset at every little thing that isn’t to our liking, then where is your joy? When we follow Christ, our selfishness should die, which means we desire what God desires. We desire peace, love, mercy, and grace. We long to see people know the Creator. Our attitude will either lead people towards a curiosity of Who we follow or confirm what they always thought about those who follow Christ.
2) Our attitude reflects on our family: This is heavy. It is written in Proverbs 21:9, “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife” and in Colossians 3:19, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” When we have poor attitudes with our spouses or even our kids, people will instantly jump to what your family must be like or how miserable the home life might be. It is not to say that you can’t snap, it will happen, but if it is a regular occurrence, then people will judge that. We also have to check when we express our frustration or anger. If we profess Christ and we are being a light, as spoken of in the first section, then we need to be aware of how we react in public. Again, it’s ok if you mess up on this once in a while, but regularly fighting or losing your cool can reflect poorly on your family dynamic and cause people to question what a “Christian household” should look like.
3) Our attitude reflects on us: We might already realize this, but let’s think about it a bit more. Many times I have heard people, especially people who claim Christ say, “I don’t care what people think. If they don’t like me the way I am, then I that’s on them.” Unfortunately, that is such a selfish statement. God doesn’t even really like you the way you are, but He accepts you because He knows what you should be. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (NIV). We cannot settle for allowing our attitude to stay the same. If we are naturally angry, then we need to seek God to truly change that intuition. If we have a bitter attitude and walk with a scowl, then we need to know that people will judge us on that, especially people who have no connection with Christ. Who wants to be around people who are always bitter and angry? I don’t see a bunch of hands raised. Be aware that your attitude should reflect well on who you are in Christ. We are to bring people to know and hear the good news, so our attitude should reflect the good news we hold on to.
I want to reiterate, it is alright if we have a bad attitude on occasion, but if it is a regular experience we need to seek God to fix it.
If we do let our poor attitude get the best of us, take the time to apologize when you straighten up.
Perhaps that apology will lead people to respect you more because of the humility you expressed, which could lead to them seeking why you even felt like you should apologize?
People need to see the light and we cannot allow our attitude to leave, or lead, them in the darkness.
May we be aware of our attitude. May we be aware of the influence our attitude has directly or indirectly on people around us. May we find forgiveness and renewal in the One who created us to be something more through Him.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: Does your opinion change about people when their attitudes are poor regularly?