Have you ever used those famous word with your kids: “You need an attitude adjustment.” Have you ever needed an attitude adjustment? I believe it a phrase many of us probably need to hear just as much as our children.
I have had so many moments in my life as husband, father, and pastor that I have needed a change in my attitude. Over the years, I have faced many different challenges in life and leadership. There are many times I wish I could pass on some decisions, or let someone else make it for me. Some days I just wished I could stay in the bed and keep the covers over my head.
I remember a moment when the Lord spoke to me about choosing my attitude. As I sat in my office spending time with God, I read a devotional from John Maxwell concerning “Attitude.” It was a word from God for this pastor. God began to reveal to me that I often needed an attitude adjustment. Many times, I let my circumstances get me down.
God pierced my heart and showed me I had a choice. I could pout over my frustrating situations, or I could arm myself with a good attitude and trust God to work his will in my life and ministry. I wrote down the areas that were causing me the greatest anxiety at that time, and then I wrote down three benefits from the current situation. I began to see God’s hand on my situation, and I chose to embrace a good and positive attitude. I experienced nothing short of a miraculous breakthrough.
The good news about attitudes is that you get to choose them. We are not like Pavlov’s dogs that have a conditioned response. As humans, we get to choose how we are going to respond. In life there are sometimes very few choices we get to make. The only thing we can always control is our attitude.
Two construction workers sat down to have their lunch. One opened his lunch box and angrily sighed, “I can’t believe it! Baloney again. I hate baloney sandwiches. I can’t stand it!”
His friend tried to settle him down, “Why don’t you tell your wife you don’t like baloney sandwiches? Ask her to fix something else.”
“Wife?” replied the first man. “I make my own lunch.”
The point of the story is that most of the baloney in our lives, we have put there ourselves. A lot of the baloney is of our own making because of the wrong responses and attitudes we choose during stressful situations.
Your circumstances may not change. You can’t always control them, but you can control your attitude. Of all the things you wear, your attitude is the most important. Attitude is everything. It is our best friend or our worst enemy. It is the disposition you choose when you face a set of circumstances. Be careful which rut you choose. You may be in it the rest of your life. It may be time for you to pick another rut.
Let me close with some words from popular teacher Chuck Swindoll concerning attitude: “Attitude is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people say, think, or do… It will make or break a company, a church, or a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude that we will embrace… We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is .. we are in charge of our attitudes.” And that’s the Word.
The Rev. David Yarborough is pastor of St. Simons Community Church. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-634-2960.