Summary: Everyone acknowledges that a bad attitude stinks. We don’t even need to discuss about how and why to have a sick attitude … it comes so natural because naturally we are born with it … though we are born in sin but we have a choice to choose our attitude.
Opening illustration: During 1997 as the world focused on the deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa, another significant passing went almost unnoticed. Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl died on September 2 at the age of 93.
During World War II, Dr. Frankl was imprisoned at Auschwitz, where he was stripped of his identity as a medical doctor and forced to work as a common laborer. His father, mother, brother, and wife died in the concentration camps. All his notes, which represented his life’s work, were destroyed. Yet Frankl emerged from Auschwitz believing that “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”
We may not be able to choose our circumstances, but we can choose our attitude toward them. The apostle Paul gave us an example of how this works. He wrote, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content … I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11, 13). Whatever our circumstances may be, we can draw on the power of Christ for the strength to face them. (Our Daily Bread, David C. McCasland)
Let us turn to Philippians 4 in our Bibles and learn to choose and demonstrate a godly attitude through our lives.
Introduction: Everyone acknowledges that a bad attitude stinks worse than a skunk. We don’t even need to discuss about how and why to have a sick attitude … it comes so natural because naturally we are born with it … though we are born in sin, we have a choice to remain as sinners or get out of that rut by making Christ our sole Savior and choose a godly attitude.
This text wasn’t written for scholars, it was written for the blacksmiths and the bakers, the soldiers and the shepherds, the wives and the widows that lived in 1st century Philippi.
Paul is both exhorting and encouraging the folks at Philippi to conjure a godly attitude in their behavior no matter what their situation is … He also states that they can draw strength from God alone during those moments when things don’t seem to be going well and they could easily become vulnerable to putting on a garb of a stinky attitude which not only ruins their image but tarnishes the name of Christ to Whom they profess to belong.
How to have a godly attitude?
1. Meditate on Virtuous Things (vs. 8-9)
What we put into our minds determines what comes out in our words and actions. Paul tells us to program our minds with thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Do you have problems with impure thoughts and daydreams? Examine what you are putting into your mind through television, books, conversations, movies and magazines. Replace harmful input with wholesome material. Above all, read God’s Word and pray. Ask God to help you focus your mind on what is good and pure. It takes practice, but it can be done. Our thought life determines our action life. If your output is questionable, then surely the input has to be changed. Make sure it is pleasing to God.