Got an Attitude?

Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:1-9.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. – Helen Keller.

The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances. – Martha Washington.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. -Winston Churchill.

I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow. – Abraham Lincoln.

I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else. – Winston Churchill.

Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out. – Art Linkletter.

When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade. – Dale Carnegie.

Sometimes we are forced to do what we do not want to do. Sometimes life gives us no other way than the hard way. In one of my early jobs in my third year of marriage, I was a salesman but I was not a very good salesman. For one thing, I was shy and found talking to people, I had never met before to be difficult. My boss sent me to a Dale Carnegie class, which was even more difficult. Going through the even more difficult embarrassing things that were sometimes necessary in that class made it easier for me to talk to people. John Ortberg in one of his books tells about when he first started preaching he had a problem with fainting. He would be five or ten minutes into a sermon and then pass out! Attendance increased but I’m not sure the deacons were very impressed. He eventually overcame that problem as he persisted in doing what God had called him to do. John Ortberg had an attitude. His attitude was that he was going to continue on doing what God had called him to do no matter what.

The apostle Paul had an attitude too. His attitude was one of rejoicing no matter what. When the letter to Philippi was written Paul was under house arrest in Rome knowing that he could be executed for his faith. In addition, there were those who were trying to add to Paul’s troubles. But Paul was able to rejoice in spite of his circumstances. How? With each difficulty Paul was able to see good coming out of them (Philippians 1:13-18).

Paul could also have joy in spite of people. There were people in the church at Philippi that were causing trouble. There was a false teacher (Philippians 3:1-3) and a division in the church (Philippians 4:1-3). Paul could have joy because he followed the example of Jesus (2:5). Paul said to have an humble spirit (2:3), think about the other person’s situation (Walk a mile in their shoes – 2:4), do not murmur and complain (2:14).

Paul had joy too in spite of the lack of the things of this world. Before Paul was a Christian, he had “arrived” in the Jewish world. He was the “Hebrew of Hebrews” (Philippians 3:4-8). Those things were actually robbing Paul of true joy. Jesus says in Luke 12:15, “… for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Worry was another problem that could have kept Paul from having joy. In Philippians 4:6-9, Paul tells us how to cope with worry. We cope with worry by praying right (4:6-7). We cope with worry by thinking right (4:8). We not only need to pray right and think right but we also need to live right to be free of worry (4:9).

Got an attitude? I hope it is an attitude like Paul’s!

(Your attitude can destroy you or make you and God can give you the right kind of attitude for success in life.)

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