Summary: How often do you struggle with having a bad attitude? How often do you spend your time moping around or angry at the world? Do we go around, thinking everything around us stinks when in fact it’s not everything around us, but our attitude that stinks? Som
DO YOU NEED AN ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT?
INTRODUCTION: Anyone ever say that to you? “You need an attitude adjustment!” How often do you struggle with having a bad attitude? How often do you spend your time moping around or angry at the world? Sometimes we probably feel like the man whose grandchildren played a practical joke on. Each afternoon Grandpa would lie down for a nap. One day the kids decided to put Limburger cheese in his moustache. Quite soon afterward he awoke sniffing. “This room stinks,” he exclaimed as he got up and went out into the kitchen. He wasn’t there long before he declared, “this kitchen stinks too.” He decided to walk outdoors for a breath of fresh air. Much to Grandpa’s surprise, the open air brought no relief, and he proclaimed, “The whole world stinks!” The truth was it was grandpa who stunk. The problem was right under his nose. Do we go around, thinking everything around us stinks when in fact it’s not everything around us, but our attitude that stinks? Someone rightly said that attitude not aptitude determines ones altitude in life. Let’s see if we can determine today whether or not we need an attitude adjustment.
1) What’s our attitude toward others?
• What it shouldn’t be. Eph. 4:25-32. We shouldn’t be lying to one another, but instead speak the truth. This also means not telling people what they want to hear. If we are speaking truthfully then we are telling them what they need to hear. We shouldn’t harbor anger toward one another or else we will give the devil a foothold and that anger will turn into resentments and hatred. I shouldn’t be stealing, taking from others what doesn’t belong to me but rather make good use of my hands for the benefit of others. I shouldn’t use my tongue against others but rather speak only what will help someone else. If I have the right attitude toward others then I will be ridding myself of all bitterness, rage, anger, fighting, slander and malice. Instead, I need to develop an attitude of compassion and forgiveness.
• What it should be. Phil. 2:1-8. We need to have an attitude of humility like Jesus had. Being humble can defeat negative attitudes. We get a negative attitude when we feel we’re right about something. We get a negative attitude when we look down on someone. When our ambitions are selfish our attitude is ‘what’s in it for me’. When we’re conceited we are looking to draw attention to ourselves. But, if we consider others better than ourselves, we will have a right attitude of humble servitude. If we are looking to the interest of others we are exemplifying the generous attitude of Jesus who did things not for himself but for others. He came to serve, not be served. When our attitude toward others is right we will be encouraging them, not demeaning them. We will be building up not tearing down.
2) What’s our attitude toward ourselves?
• What it shouldn’t be. We shouldn’t be self abasing. It’s not healthy to put ourselves down. That’s false humility. That’s a critical spirit. People who are perfectionists can be self-abasing. This is harmful because it’s so debilitating; especially when it comes to sin. If I have a tendency to beat myself up when I fall then what that usually does is push me further into my sin. I convince myself that I’ll never get this right so why bother trying anymore. I’m nothing but a screw-up so it’s no wonder I keep ending up in messes. Ultimately, with this degrading attitude, one is brought to the point of contemplating suicide. Being demeaning toward myself is dangerously negative.
• What it should be. We should have godly confidence. 1st Cor. 1:26-2:5. We can accept that we weren’t wise or influential or noble without being down on ourselves. Why? Because of what God has done through us. It’s much better to have Godly wisdom that shames the world’s wisdom. It’s much better to have Godly power that shames worldly power. It’s okay if by the world’s definition I am lowly and despised because in God’s eyes I’m not. I don’t have to get down on myself if the world sees me this way if I have the right attitude about it and realize that God has a purpose in it. God chooses people like me so that by a demonstration of his wisdom and power people will recognize that only through God’s provision was this display of wisdom or power possible. We need our faith to rest on God, not ourselves. Rom. 12:3, “For by the grace given me I say to you: Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought , but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” I need to have godly confidence, not self confidence.