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Check up From the Neck up

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Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Philippians 2:5)

Five truths of attitudes:

Truth #1:  Our attitude determines how we approach life.

Are you someone who sees the glass half full or half empty?  Do you even see the glass?  The attitude we have whenever we wake up in the morning will usually dictate how the rest of our day will be. 

The story is told of the grandpa and grandma who visited their grandchildren.  Each afternoon, grandpa would lie down for a nap.  One day, as a practical joke, the kids decided to put Limburger cheese in his moustache.  Quite soon he awoke sniffing.  “Why, this room stinks,” he exclaimed as he got up and went out into the kitchen.  He wasn’t there long until he decided that the kitchen smelled too, so he walked outdoors for a breath of fresh air.  Much to the grandpa’s surprise, the open air brought no relief, and he proclaimed, “The whole world stinks!”  How true is that in life?  When we carry “Limburger cheese” in our attitudes, the whole world smells bad to us. 

Truth #2:  Our attitude determines our relationships with other people.

The Golden Rule:  “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”  Matthew 7:12

Do you find it hard to get along with a certain person or certain people?  They are just rotten to the core and seem to have only their best interests in mind.  Have you ever sat back and realized how you talked to these people?  Or maybe even how you acted around them?  Maybe they aren’t the total problem.  Maybe if you treated these people in a different way with a different attitude the result would turn out differently.  Sometimes the best way to get to someone who is always contrary and seems to always walk around with a chip on their shoulders, is to “Kill them with kindness.”  Establishing relationships with certain people is a very difficult thing to do sometimes.  People are funny.  They want a place in the front of the bus, the back of the church, and the middle of the road.  You can tell a man there are 300 billion stars, and he will believe you.  You tell that same man that a door has just been painted, and he has to touch it to be sure.  It seems you can’t get along with them, yet you can’t live without them.  Maybe some of these people go to your church.  Maybe they are even on your church board.  Next service surprise them and walk up to them with a big smile on your face, shake their hand and maybe even give them a compliment.  It will surprise you how your positive attitude will eventually translate itself into the congregation’s attitude.

Truth #3:  Usually,  attitude is the only difference between success and failure.

It would be impossible to know how many job interviews were failed, promotions missed,  or sales not made because of bad attitudes.  But every day there are people who are in these circumstances and miss these opportunities because of bad attitudes.  It’s not because they weren’t capable of having a good interview and making a good impression, but it was because of the attitude that person had that day.  Maybe they woke up on the wrong side of the bed and spilled Starbucks on their outfit on their way to the interview.  Whatever it was to make that person get in a bad mood caused them to miss out on a promotion or even a  job opportunity.  Whereas had that person had a good attitude, they would have had a lot better chance of landing the job and being able to buy more Starbucks.  Our attitude can dictate whether or not we are successful in life and in the church.  How many more people would come visit our church if everyone we came in contact with saw the best side of us and not the other side?

Truth #4:  Our attitude at the start of a task will affect its outcome more than anything else.

Ever notice the faces of some of the people in the congregation when you announce that on the upcoming Saturday you will be having an outreach effort?  Most of the time it is the way we present the gospel, rather than the gospel itself, that offends people.  If we start out a particular task with a negative attitude, chances are the outcome of the task will be negative.  For instance, there’s the story of two shoe salesmen who were sent to an island to sell shoes.  The first salesman, upon arrival, was shocked to realize that no one wore shoes.  Immediately he sent a telegram to his home office in Chicago saying, “Will return home tomorrow.  No one wears shoes.”  The second salesman was thrilled by the same realization.  Immediately he wired the home office in Chicago saying, “Please send me 10,000 shoes to sell.  Everyone here needs them.”

Truth #5:  Our attitude is not automatically good just because we are Christians.

We’ve been to the water and have been baptized.  We’ve received the gift of the Holy Ghost and are children of God.  But, we still have flesh wrapped around us.  We still get flat tires from time to time, the refrigerator still goes out and we still get hang nails every now and then.  Just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we automatically are blessed with a non-stop, good attitude.  We still have to work on being nice to people and making sure we smile more often than not.