Summary: Learn to develop a Godly attitude as you examine the story of David and Goliath.
Today I want to begin a series of messages about attitude. Our attitude is such a powerful force in our lives. Your attitude will build you up or tear you down. We are living in an economic and social environment when it is vitally important that we find a positive God based attitude. Everywhere you turn you hear bad news. When you pick up the paper you read a lot of bad news. Newspapers and the evening news speak of the high rate of unemployment; the decline of the stock market; CEO’s who have swindled millions out of their company; political in-fighting; or the latest murder. In times like these we need to seek a God shaped attitude.
I heard about a young girl who became a Christian in a revival at her church and was baptized the following Sunday morning. That afternoon she ran through the house singing and dancing. Her grandfather had a sour attitude and rebuked her with these words, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You just joined the church and you’re singing and dancing on the Lord’s Day!” Crushed by her grandfather’s attitude, the little girl went out to the barn, climbed up on the corral fence, and observed an old mule standing there with a sad, droopy face. As she reached over and patted the mule sympathetically, she said, “Don’t cry, ole mule. I guess you’ve got the same kind of religion that Grandpa has!”
(Contributed to Sermon Central by Bart Leger)
Ladies and gentleman, I do not want to be a person with a negative attitude that discourages others. I want to bring a word of hope.
Illustration: I imagine all of you have heard stories about Thomas Edison. He was named “Life” magazines man of the millennium. He invented 1,093 items and held more patents than any other person in the world. He was granted at least one patent a year for sixty-five consecutive years. Many people credit his success to genius but his greatest attributes may have been his fortitude and positive attitude. It took him approximately 10,000 tries to find the right materials for the incandescent light bulb.
Probably the most notable display of Edison’s positive attitude can be seen in the way he approached a tragedy that occurred when he was in his late sixties. The lab he had built in West Orange, New Jersey, was world famous. He called the fourteen building complex his invention factory. Its main building was massive—greater than three football fields in size. From that base of operations, he and his staff conceived inventions developed prototypes, manufactured products, and shipped them to customers. It became a model for modern research and manufacturing.
Edison loved the place. He spent every minute
he could there. He even slept there,often on one of the lab tables. But on a December day in 1914,his beloved lab caught fire. As he stood outside and watched it burn, he is reported to have said, “Kids, go get your mother. She’ll never see another fire like this one.”
Most people would have been crushed. Not Edison. “I am sixty-seven,” he stated after the tragedy, “but not too old to make a fresh start. I’ve been through a lot of things like this.” He rebuilt the lab, and he kept working for another seventeen years. “I am long on ideas, but short on time.” He commented. “I expect to live to be only about a hundred.” (John Maxwell. The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader Thomas Nelson.
1999. p. 89-90)
Ladies and gentleman I may not be a Thomas Edison but I can honor God with my attitude.
There are many things that will affect your attitude.
1. Your emotional and mental condition will affect your attitude.
2. Your physical condition will affect your attitude.
3. Your childhood will affect your attitude.
4. Your work life will affect your attitude.
5. Your family life will affect your attitude.
6. More importantly than any of these, your faith should affect your attitude.
When I refer to attitude I am not talking about positive thinking. I am not talking about some self help course whereby you change your demeanor. I am talking about an attitude that is based on faith.
To begin this series of messages I want to turn to I Samuel 17. This is a familiar story. It is the story of David and Goliath. It has been referenced by preachers. It has been referenced by politicians. It has been taught to children’s Sunday school classes. David has been exalted as a man of great faith. David has been exalted as a man who trusted God. Today I want to use David as a man with a great attitude. Look at David’s attitude. David had been at home watching his father’s sheep. His older brothers had gone off to war. David was asked to make a delivery to his brothers, in behalf of their father. When he arrived on the scene he gets his first glimpse of Goliath, almost ten feet tall. All of the soldiers trembled in fear because of Goliath, but not David. He said “who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (vs. 26) David had a positive, trusting, and Godly attitude. What can we learn about David’s attitude? Notice three lessons we should learn from David.