Awful Attitude and the Story of Christmas
- December 12, 2018
- Lori Travers
Sometimes my attitude stinks. Though it’s a season of joy and sparkles, I still find myself brooding, and I know this isn’t becoming for one who professes Christ.Yet, I feel stuck in it. It’s like a heavy blanket oppressing and possessing my true personality and it smothers me (fa la la la la…)
Many times I’ve asked the Lord to lift this resolved way of thinking and feeling. I realize I have no power over it, but even after focused prayer, the attitude remains. I ask myself, is this the wayI’m destined to be? Can I not have a change of heart at will?
WithChristmas approaching (or should I say speeding toward me like an unrelenting freight train!) my eyes move toward the person of Christ, even those passages that are outside of the typical gospel narratives describing His birth. Recently I remembered one that has called my attention in the past and has literally humbled me on the spot.
The words of Philippians 2 carry unbelievable weight for me because of all virtues,I believe humility is most difficult in this day and age. Listen as Paul speaks through the inspiration of HolySpirit:
5 Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us byJesus Christ, 6 who, though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, 7 but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. 8 And he humbled himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Yet it was because of this that God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name which is above every other name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil. 2:5-11 (TLB)
The passage goes on to remind us that in this “warped and crooked generation…do everything without grumbling or arguing.”
So what does all this have to do with attitude?
If the Savior of the world could present the posture of humility when He was the creator of the world and sustainer of all things, how in the world is it that I keep a crummy attitude toward loved ones…and not-so-loved ones?
I believe the answer to my problem-heart is an in ability to renew my thought life. Honestly, I can ask God to help me till my knees bleed, but if I’m not willing to change the thoughts inside my head that keep me going back to the same behaviors, His life-raft offer will float right past me. My thought life changes my emotions to either negative or positive, so whenI change my thoughts I change my attitude, which, in turn, changes my behavior!
So, how do I change my thought life?
The transformation of thought comes by acknowledging the toxic, negative thoughts and bringing them to the Lord, asking Him to replace these lies with His truth, taking time each day to meditate on the Truth to override the lie (toxic thought), and working out the Truth (positive thought)through my actions. Old habits truly are hard to break. But new thought patterns are created though repetition. I have to ask myself which direction I want to go. Do I want to remain in the substandard attitude of my mind, resulting in continual negative emotions and even worse behavior? Or do I want to see my life spiraling into an upward trajectory, creating a positive emotional life and better behaviors?
I believe it’s all my choice…and yours. We have the mind of Christ and we are effectual for any change that needs be.
This Christmas season, why don’t we give ourselves and those in our circle of influence the gift of changing our attitudes? Can we imagine ourselves actually enjoying the world around us, joining in on the party, and embracing the moments of this one brief life? What if we could emulate the One, who in His 33 years on this earth, showed us the attitude of humility because He knew the exaltation that would eventually take place?
GOD became man. GOD humbled Himself. GOD knows the struggle.
Let our attitudes be those that reflect the mind of Christ, not the mindset of the culture (harried, harassed, pushy, sarcastic…). “She has attitude” isn’t exactly a compliment.
Jesus entered our world to show us the better way. And may your soul feel its worth.