It’s my attitude, I can cry if I want too”

 

“It’s your attitude, it’s up to you to change it”

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This isn’t good. I woke up 5 minutes past the time I was supposed to leave for work, I had no time for makeup or breakfast and I wasn’t looking forward to piles of files at the office (and because I’m not perfect, I didn’t spend time with Jesus either) I can feel my face getting hot and it wasn’t even a hot day! It was actually cloudy and raining. It wasn’t the temperature that was causing me to overheat. I couldn’t blame it on a fever because I had just went to the doctor the day before and said I was perfectly healthy. No, the heat I was feeling was not related to my physical well being; it was connected to my heart and soul.

Unfortunately, I took it out on the driver in the car in front of me – I can feel frustration and stress coming at me like a shark in the deep blue sea. The theme music in the background was that I allowed myself to be the bait and sadly, I didn’t do anything to save myself.

If you are human and breathing, you probably experienced a plate –throwing mood, or an aggressive minute of honking so that they can drive faster or move out of your way. Maybe you are even in the middle of a bad-attitude day right now. It’s not too fun, is it?

One thing I am learning in this journey with the Lord is that you and I truly have the power to change the way we act and feel. We just have to be willing to activate that power in our daily lives. Think of it like a super power – when negative thoughts and cloudy days are wanting to form, you can just bust out your super power which is the word ( “Hold every thought captive that doesn’t come in obedience with the Lord”) and BAM!!!! You defeat it. To good to be true? It might be, but honestly I believe we all have a super hero in us in a way. We just have to choose to adjust our focus in aligning our attitude with God’s will for us at that moment.

 

“Let this same attitude and purpose and (humble) mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: (Let Him be your example of humility).” Phil. 2:3-4 AMP

 

Gosh. That verse gets me each time. How many times have we used “you get me so mad” excuse, OR “ if you didn’t do this, I wouldn’t be feeling this way”. The constant blame game that we try to put on others so that we won’t feel AS bad as we already do. It seems this verse was purposely put in the bible with the intentions from Jesus saying “make sure you put that in there, Monica is going to need to read that every 2- 3 days.” HEY. I’m not perfect and my guess is that I am not alone on this one, that you have had your bad- attitude, stop annoying – my – life- moments too. But, you don’t have to admit it. Not yet.

Attitude.

It is the mental position you choose to take toward life, people, and circumstances. I sometimes wish it wasn’t my attitude, particularly my bad attitude, that causes me problems. I wish I can just blame it on someone or something else, such as my sibling, the weather , being tired or being female ( we girls love using that excuse). But, I can’t use any excuse or blame anyone for my attitude, because it’s mine – mine to own and mine to control. I choose my attitude – nothing gives it to me but me!

The more I’ve been aware, the more I have come to understand how important a persons attitude is to their walk with God, their well – being, and their everyday life. Attitude is more important than anything you do or say, because it is the wheel that guides and directs what you do and say. Your attitude has the power to make or break your day. It can strengthen or destroy your relationships. It can bless or curse your home , your children, your marriage, your job and your hopes and dreams for your future. It also has the power to rob you of hours, days, months, years and even a lifetime of peace, hope and joy. Attitude affects absolutely everything.

Right now at this very moment, my attitude choice can either motivate me or encourage my soul to believe God is leading me as I write these words to you. Or, It can discourage my soul and cloud my perspective and make me believe that God is not with me. To be honest, I have to constantly battle my thoughts to keep my attitude in line with what I know is right. Attitude, for me, is a daily and nightly choice.

It’s interesting how I notice a huge difference in my day when my attitude is aligned with my faith and trust in God.  When I choose to focus my mind and thoughts on walking in faith, my attitude is optimistic and that motivates and inspires me to look at anything I am trying to accomplish through the eyes of faith. When my attitude is filled with doubt and negativity towards people or situations I am facing. I am easily frustrated and discouraged and my attention can start to focus on myself and my own ability. Can you relate?  

There’s much about life we cannot change. We can’t change the past, who our parents are, or where we are from. We cannot change the people around us (the negative co worker, the mean person at school, the cranky neighbor) or the fact that people will fail and disappoint us. There are so many things we can not humanly control. But we do have control of what is most important, and that is our attitude toward everything we cannot control. In a very powerful and miraculous way, your attitude affects  all of those things you cannot change, because it changes you. When you have the right attitude, the world around you and the circumstances you are facing look different. It’s like a rainbow in the storm clouds of life.

Did your mother ever say to you ” Get rid of your attitude” ? When you think about it, it sounds silly, because getting rid of your attitude is impossible. We always have an attitude. We just don’t always have the right one.

Listen to this:

” Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”

Just in case we try to use the old ” you make me mad” excuse for having a bad attitude, God put these verses in the bible just for us. You pick your attitude. No person or situation can give you a bad attitude. Nice try, friend, but that just isn’t how it works.

In the bible is a story about two guys who were beaten and thrown into prison for their faith. I can relate so much to this story because I too was bullied because of my Faith for Jesus. So this story always encouraged me that it isn’t the situation that determines who you are, it is how you respond to it that makes the difference. 

The two inspirational men where Paul and Silas, and they were evangelists who traveled and told people about Jesus. During their journey, they experienced much opposition from those who didn’t want to hear their message. They were disliked so much that they were ultimately arrested by the town rulers. The officials tore off Paul’s and Silas clothes, beat them with rods, threw them into the inner prison (the deepest darkest, dirtiest corner), and clamped their legs in irons. (OUCH)

Now, I don’t know about you, but i think I might have been struggling with my attitude right about then. Come on, God. I was working for you, I was suffering for you, I was telling people about you. I was even doing miracles in your name. What’s the deal?

I might have, of all things, tried to blame God for my bad attitude. But, not Paul and Silas. These guys were amazing!! I so love and admire their spirit. Get a load of what they did in Acts chapter 16, verse 25:

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God” (NIV)

You may need to read that again. Those two guys were real people just like you and me. They were in a lot of pain. They were mostly naked and lying on the floor of a filthy prison cell. They hadn’t done anything sinful or illegal. They could have been frustrated and even angry. But Paul and Silas weren’t complaining or whining. They weren’t curled up in a ball in prison, posting a status and sharing how upset they were (if they had internet back then) They were praying, singing out loud and worshipping God.

WOW! WHAT AN ATTITUDE!!!!

Paul and Silas didn’t allow their circumstance to affect their mood or their hope. In the middle of being treating horribly, while they were physically hurting from being beaten and chained for doing nothing wrong, they were singing praises!

When I read this, I have to admit I am convicted and my prayer is, God, please help me! This is how I want to be. What chains and challenges do you find yourself in today? Most days, if you are anything like me, you come up against situations that can trigger negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions that require you to make an attitude choice.

You maybe facing a difficult situation right now as you read this.

Maybe you are having difficulty in your marriage.

Maybe being single has been a weight that you have dragged on and on and you’ve become numb to love.

Maybe your boss is hard to work with and you feel like you are treated unfairly.

Maybe you are walking through a financial crisis.

Maybe things aren’t going your way and life is extremely difficult right now.

Everyone walks through trials. Some big and some small. We all have the option of how we are going to respond to those trials. So what attitude do you want to have? Whether you choose to have a singing attitude or a stinky attitude, that affects not only you, but also the people around you. People are watching how you respond to life and the challenges you are facing. And if you are only thinking of yourself, you will stink.

Paul and Silas chose to sing, and it changed everything. Was it their praise that changed their attitude or their attitude that caused them to sing? Who knows. I would imagine they didn’t really feel much like singing. But with faith and believing hearts, they did anyway. And their attitude of praise, in the middle of their challenge opened doors of blessing and opportunity.

Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16:25 NIV)

The Message puts it this way:

The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears.

I bet not!!! The joyful believing attitude from Paul and Silas was noticed by the people around them. Look what happened next:

 “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

Chills. I can’t help but wonder if that jailer was one of the men who had brutally beaten Paul and Silas with rods, or if he might have been the one who had thrown in the cell and put them in chains. Either way, he was involved and responsible for the challenges they were experiencing that day. But their decision to praise God in the middle of difficulty changed this man’s life and the lives of his entire family.

While writing this, I’ve been feeling convicted about the times I have allowed my circumstances to affect my spirit. It makes me wonder who is watching me. Who has seen me when I’ve had a stinky, faithless, ungrateful attitude? And if instead I had been singing, would they have heard me, and could it have changed their lives?

Who is watching you? Who is noticing how you respond to the situations you are in today? Your friends, your family, your children, co worker, your cranky neighbor.. WHO?

I recently read that “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you handle what happens to you” So true! How you choose to handle life’s situations affect your life and everyone else who is watching you.

Your attitude is the inner thoughts of your soul, which feed your actions. But an attitude can be hidden from view until is is revealed by your actions. You can have a sinful attitude and nobody can know except you. But if you don’ deal with it, I promise you it will eventually come out. A self centered and stubborned attitude will show itself by tearing others down and it will be a sprit of disobedience instead of gentleness, humbleness and a servants heart.

To put it bluntly, a bad attitude reveals a selfish, faithless, unbelieving spirit.

Romans 12:2 says:

“Do not conform to the patterns of this world” (NIV)

Simply put, don’t let circumstances of the world around you cause you to act like or be something you shouldn’t. There are no circumstances you face or people you come in contact with that have the power to dictate your attitude or actions. Verse 2 urge us to ” be transformed by the renewing of your mind” — by a new attitude. You can choose to change your mind. Right now, in this moment, you get to decide whether you are going to sing or not.

Changing your attitude takes actions — choosing to sing and praise God in the middle of whatever you are walking through. There may be people in your life who are making bad choices that are hurting you or your family. You may be in emotional pain or physical pain from disease or sickness. Or you may just have let someone or something get under your skin like a splinter and now you have had or you are having a bad day. You may think there’s nothing that can change how you feel.

The answer is simple. God’s word says there is something you can do right now that will bring joy and sunshine into the room and into your heart. All you have do is make the decision by faith to tell your soul to sing. And that, sweet friend, will change everything, because it will change you.

Rejoice in the Lord always (delight, gladden yourself in Him) again I say, Rejoice! (Phil.4:4 AMP)

So go ahead– I dare you to change your attitude, start praising, start singing, and watch what happens next!

 

XOXO,

Monica Lissete

 

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