Summary: Living a Godly life means living as Jesus lived.
Text: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
What is your attitude? All of us have an attitude. Some of us have a good attitude and some of us have a nasty attitude. What is this thing called attitude? Our attitude is our outlook on something or some matter. It depends on our frame or state of mind at the moment.
We can open our eyes in the morning anxious and excited about getting out of bed and say, “Good morning, Lord!” or on the other hand, we may be grumpy because we are tired due to a poor nights sleep or going to bed late, and we say, “Good Lord, morning!”
Our attitude shows forth in both scenarios. In one scenario, our state of mind is positive. We are excited about the day and we are ready to face the world with a smile on our face and a song in our heart. However, in the second scenario, we are in a different state of mind. We don’t want to get up, we are tired and we are definitely not excited. Our attitude is negative because our state of mind is negative.
A person’s attitude shows forth in various circumstances and situations. If there is a long line at the grocery store or you are in line, but the person in front realizes they forgot to get something and decides to go back and get it or sends the bagger back to get it. You become a little agitated and your Sunday Christian state of mind turns negative, giving a boost to your negative attitude, causing you to say something that later you will regret.
Before your state of mind or your attitude causes you to say or do the wrong thing, you should ask yourself the question, “What Would Jesus Do?” If we take time to answer the question, our attitude will remain positive and we will not do something to hurt the feelings of the other person or make ourselves look like a donkey (there are 150 places in the Bible that call this animal by a three-letter name).
During the course of the day our attitude can change because of what someone said to us; how we have been treated; weather change; car that doesn’t start or has a flat tire; the slow movement of traffic on the way home; the car that changes lanes with out letting us know; the motorcycle or bicycle rider who rides up between the cars while we are waiting for the traffic light to change or a host of other incidents.
When you get all bent out of shape causing a change in your state of mind or your attitude, stop and asked yourself the question: “What Would Jesus Do?” When someone criticizes you or says something ugly to you, do as Jesus did; “…turn the other cheek…” (Matthew 5:39).
When you do this, your attitude will remain positive.
You won’t be upset or angry and you won’t do something that later you might regret. “Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12 9, 10, 21).
Jesus never projected a negative image. This just was not His way. He was not a fighter, but He was a lover. He did not always like what people were doing or how they were acting or the negative attitude they had, but nevertheless, He loved them.
Jesus’ great attribute was love. He had enemies, but His attitude toward them was to love them. He told us to do the same. He said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who prosecute you… (Matthew 5:44).
There are times we criticize other people for some reason causing us to develop an attitude contrary to that of a Christian. Our attitude becomes negative instead of positive. This causes us to be critical instead of being helpful.
Sometimes we criticize because we do not know the whole story or because we really don’t see the true picture. In other words, our vision is not as clear as it should be resulting in an attitude of unkindness and an attitude that can cause hurt. Listen to this business man who had blurred vision:
A businessman was highly critical of his competitors’ storefront windows. “Why, they are the dirtiest windows in town,” he claimed. Fellow business people grew tired of the man’s continual criticism and nitpicking comments about the windows. One day
over coffee, the businessman carried the subject just too far.
Before leaving, a fellow store owner suggested the man get his own windows washed. He followed the advice, and the next day at coffee, he exclaimed, “I can’t believe it. As soon as I washed my windows, my competitor must have cleaned his too. You should see them shine” (author unknown).