You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
After living a fair portion of my life with a somewhat negative attitude, I think I have some incite on the topic. I can still say a negative attitude can influence and stop us in our tracks no matter how we strong we are spiritually. Just a couple of days ago I was met with that negative attitude when a co-worker of mine told me how bad a job was going. I do inventories part time for extra income; we travel all over the mid-south to do these. Before my team got into the door of this retail establishment, we were told, with expletives flying out of this woman that rarely speaks, that the count was terrible, the manager was a you-know-what and that if we were smart we would get in our van and leave. She painted such a negative dark picture that we all were stunned and sat and contemplated what we were going to do for 15 minutes. We are one of the top-notch teams in our company and we all were dumfounded for 15 solid minutes. It was an unreal experience for me.
We had come from another count earlier in the day and we were already tired. We decided the best thing to do was to go in and find out what was going on and how we can help. We walk in the door and we see a completely different picture that our coworker painted. The place was not as dark and dirty as she had us believe, things were in order, not in disarray. Yeah, maybe it was not pristine conditions; but not what she painted in our thoughts. The you-know-what manager met us and was pleased to see us. She was beaming. She recognized our team from another count and was relieved we were there. She knew she would have a good inventory. When dealing with a bad attitude it’s always good to remember there are two sides to a story. We found out the team that was there was messing around, not concentrating on the count and was very inaccurate. The contrast was so amazing. We finished the job in a couple of hours and had a very thankful manager give us some praise for the professional job we did.
The Holy Spirit showed me big time how an attitude can shape an environment. The words we speak can be a very powerful influence on our environment. Throughout the Bible there are many examples of how powerful words can be. There are 5 ways we can have a great attitude before we step into a situation.
- Always know that there are two sides to every story. This can be for situations or just someone telling you about a problem they have with another person. Not to say the other person is lying, but they may have an exaggerated point of view. Sometimes you may run into a situation where you end up hearing both exaggerated views. Always somewhere in the middle is truth.
- Don’t let fear overcome you, overcome fear. I let my imagination run wild from a hysterical tirade from a one sided point of view. We can’t let that happen, if we do, our attitude will be tainted before we get into the situation. Texting is a great fear promoter. You get a small text from a friend that you don’t understand right off the bat and you are headed to the fear of what that person meant. Let fear take a back seat.
- Have wisdom to know when to have a bad attitude. After all, we are human, but we need to have wisdom when we can’t go anywhere but negative. Jesus got negative when He entered the temple and drove the moneychangers out. He got negative when the Pharisee’s tried to make Him look bad. Pick your battles wisely. The Holy Spirit will guild you. We should always strive to be positive; negative should be a last resort, not the first resort.
- When presented with a negative situation, have a prayerful disposition. We should be prayerful all the time nonetheless. God says to pray nonstop. This probably should be number 1 on the list. Prayer will overcome being instantly judgmental, it will keep you from fear, and you will have wisdom from the Holy Spirit.
- Plan ahead for any situation of how you are going to respond. Be proactive, not reactive. The bottom line here is we have a choice of how to respond to a bad situation. We can go with the negative or we can stay positive and see for ourselves how bad something is. Nobody has control over how we respond; we have that power ourselves with our freedom to choose.
I wish I could say my coworkers still have a job, but they don’t. Their lack of professionalism with the drama of the situation made them loose control and they fell prey to their fears. Regrettably the fear of losing their job was not as a priority as the fear of a terrible count and a tough job. We need to have a new attitude and that is the same as Jesus. The above verse is awesome in showing us that we need to keep renewing our minds daily. To have a great attitude takes planning and godly choices. Remember your attitude shapes the atmosphere around you. If you want a positive atmosphere, stay positive. Negative attitudes are for the world, not for us. We always should take off the old and keep the new on. It’s constantly a battle.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple]
- attitude checks can’t be mailed (pastortimfowler.wordpress.com)