Summary: In order to grow as Christians we must have the proper atitude towards our Christian lives.
NOTE: I am indebted to Jim Mooney of sermoncentral.com for the idea for this sermon. I took his basic idea from the sermon “How to Have a Winning Attitude” and customized it to fit my own style and congregation.
The Christian Attitude
THERE IS A SHORT STORY BY G.W. TARGET TITLED "THE WINDOW" WHICH TELLS OF TWO MEN WHO WERE ROOMMATES IN A HOSPITAL ROOM. ONE MAN WAS ALLOWED TO SIT UP FOR AN HOUR EVERY AFTERNOON TO DRAIN FLUID FROM HIS LUNGS WHILE THE OTHER MAN HAD TO LAY FLAT ON HIS BACK. THE MEN WOULD TALK FOR HOURS. THEY DISCUSSED THEIR FAMILIES, THEIR JOBS, THEIR MILITARY SERVICE, & JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE. THE MAN WHO COULD SIT UP LOOKED FORWARD IMMENSELY TO THE HOUR EVERY AFTERNOON WHEN HE COULD PROP HIMSELF UP & LOOK OUT THE WINDOW BY HIS BED. EACH AFTERNOON HE WOULD DESCRIBE WHAT HE SAW TO THE OTHER GENTLEMAN. HE TALKED ABOUT HOW THE WINDOW OVERLOOKED A BEAUTIFUL PARK WITH A LOVELY LAKE. HE TALKED ABOUT THE SWANS SWIMMING ON THE LAKE & THE YOUNG CHILDREN PLAYING ON THE WATERS EDGE. HE DESCRIBED THE BEAUTIFUL TREES & FLOWERS THAT ADORNED THE LAKE. THE MAN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM WOULD CLOSE HIS EYES & IMAGINE THE PICTURESQUE SCENE. AFTER SEVERAL DAYS OF HAVING THE BEAUTIFUL SCENES DESCRIBED TO HIM, HOWEVER, HE BEGAN TO WONDER, "WHY SHOULD HE HAVE ALL THE PLEASURE OF SEEING EVERYTHING WHILE I NEVER GET TO SEE ANYTHING? IT JUST ISN’T FAIR." LATE ONE NIGHT THE GENTLEMAN BY THE WINDOW BEGAN TO CHOKE & COUGH BECAUSE OF THE FLUID ON HIS LUNGS. WHILE THE SECOND MAN WATCHED HIS ROOMMATE STRUGGLE & GROPE FOR THE CALL BUTTON, HE NEVER USED HIS OWN BUTTON TO CALL FOR HELP. IN LESS THAT FIVE MINUTES THE MAN WAS DEAD. THE NEXT MORNING THE NURSES CAME IN & FOUND THE LIFELESS BODY OF THE MAN BY THE WINDOW. SOON THE BODY WAS MOVED & AS SOON AS IT WAS APPROPRIATE, THE OTHER MAN ASKED TO BE MOVED TO THE BED BY THE WINDOW. THE NURSE WAS HAPPY TO COMPLY WITH HIS WISHES & THE MAN WAS MOVED & MADE COMFORTABLE. SLOWLY & PAINFULLY THE MAN PROPPED HIMSELF UP ON ONE ELBOW TO TAKE HIS FIRST LOOK. FINALLY, HE WOULD HAVE THE JOY OF SEEING IT ALL HIMSELF. HE STRAINED TO LOOK OUT THE WINDOW BESIDE THE BED. AS HE DID SO, HE SAW NOTHING BUT A BLANK WALL.
Attitude is everything. One man looked at a blank wall and saw the beautiful country side, the other was shown the countryside and was inspired to jealousy, angry and some might even say murder. Both men had the same plight, they shared the same room and were treated by the same doctors. It was the attitude of each man that made the difference. Our attitudes affect everything we do in life – great and small. It effects the way we do our jobs, the way we treat our loved ones, the friends that we have, and it even effects our relationship with God. Do you have a spiritual role model? Someone you have always looked up to as a someone who you would like to be like spiritually? The truth of the matter is that you can be. The spiritual giants we have know don’t have some special power from or grace from God that we don’t have. The Apostle Paul and Peter and James and John all had the same Holy Spirit that we have. We all have the potential to be just as close to God as they were. Its all about attitude. Do you have the attitude you need to have in order to grow closer to God? The sermon this morning, in a nutshell, is this - If we want to grow and mature in our Christian lives, we must have the proper Christian attitude.
And Paul shows what that attitude is in Philippians 2:8-14, lets read those verses now.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.