Mine sure does…suck, that is. Please excuse the word choice. I know it’s harsh, and I would normally go with something like stink, but sometimes my attitude is honestly way worse that just stinking. And, the harshness of that word is incredibly accurate as it points to the sin that overtakes me and torpedoes my attitude.
Of course, given enough time, I do eventually get over it. And I usually think how sad it is that I let myself get so focused on different things and circumstances that it took over my whole attitude. However, if I’m not careful, I end up doing it all over again.
Why is that?
With all the clever, sayings & quotes, memes, graphics, etc…you’d think we could just pick ourselves up out of the doldrums, grab some encouragement and move on. Of course, it is often much harder than that, and for some, a bad attitude can stick around for many days, even weeks.
Real quickly, I just wanted to drop a few words that might help, if this finds you dealing with a bad attitude.
Ask yourself these questions to evaluate yourself…
- Did someone do something that attributed to my attitude problem?
- If so, why did I (or continually do I) give them such power over me?
- Did something I do cause my attitude to tank?
- Was it just one thing, or did multiple things stack up on each other?
- Are things exactly as you think they are, or are you assuming?
Part of our sin nature is to care about what people think of us, to care about how people treat us, to get down on ourselves, and to think that our perception of reality is always correct. People will say, “Well, he said ‘_________’. What else could he have meant by that? He clearly has a problem with me.” We leave no room for the possibility that there might be another explanation. On top of that, we are very good at adding things up until we have this tower of issues that submerges our attitude to the depths of our being.
In a very real sense, we want to be our own god. We want total control over what happens to us, how we’re treated, how others handle their own lives, etc. If it connects to us at all, we want things to go the way we want things to go. In other words, we want to be the gods of our own lives…controlling all circumstances and situations in a way that we see fit.
Instead, we should be looking at each situation with humility.
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. -Philippians 2:3-4
We are, instead of trying to be our own god, to have the mind of Christ.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus -Philippians 2:5
Even when things go sideways, people actually do treat us poorly, and sin against us, the call on our lives is to follow the Lord’s example. Jesus faced real trials, persecution and suffering. Yet, in the midst of it all, he remained hopeful and was ever patient.
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. -1 Peter 2:23
When you find yourself stuck in this position, fighting your attitude, and nothing seems to help you get unstuck, do these two things.
First, go to a good family member or friend who you know loves God, and loves you. Even if you have a stack of issues, it’s a safe bet that one person isn’t at the center of it all. Find that person, share your heart, and let them be a blessing to you.
Second (and most importantly), sit down and make a list of the great blessings you have in your life. I hear you right now saying, “Oh yeah, I know, be grateful. I get it.” And you’ve got that rolling eyes smirk on your face. Get past that self-centered bull, and begin to make an actual list of the ways God has blessed you. You will be amazed at how your heart can begin to shift when you are focused on God’s goodness to you.