Summary: We know that the expression worn on the outside, is reflecting an inward attitude, that comes from the heart.
Portion of this sermon comes from Max Lucado’s book, A Gentle Thunder (Chap. 5)
Transforming Your Attitude
How many of you would agree that you probably need an attitude adjustment. What is ATTITUDE?
John Maxwell defines it this way:
-- “The Attitude is an inward feeling expressed by behavior.”
This is why an attitude can be seen in people without a word ever being spoken. We have all seen “the pout” of someone who is sulking. We have seen tears in the eyes of someone who is deeply touched by a kind word or gesture. How about the very red face of someone angered. We wear our attitudes on the outside. Our expression is what people see first.
That being said, we know that the expression worn on the outside, is reflecting an inward attitude, that comes from the heart. Sometimes the outward expression is a cover up to what’s going on inside, but in most cases, that outward expression gives us good insight as to what is going on inside.
Let’s see what the Bible has to say about this:
1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
These passages bring out the truth that we as people can’t really KNOW what is going on inside someone else. As much as we try not to judge people based on their outward expression,
That outward expression becomes a “window to the soul.”
If a person gives you, “A LOOK THAT KILLS,” they are probably not singing “HAPPY, HAPPY, JOY, JOY” on the inside.
Even Jesus had to deal with people and attitudes. He had an advantage, for He knew their hearts. Even among His most committed and closest followers, their were attitudes that needed some adjusting. In fact, Mark records for us an instance where two of the most prominent disciples come to Jesus making a request that gives a glimpse into their attitudes.
It is found in Mark Chapter 10, and it is James & John who approach Jesus. They say, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” Do you sense any attitude yet?
He asks them what it is. They respond by saying that they would like to sit at the two highest positions at the table when Jesus receives His kingdom.
Jesus goes on to let them know, that decision is does not belong to Him, and that the positions belong to those they have been prepared for. Then he talks about Gentile rulers and how they LOVE to be in charge. This then prompts Him to make the following statement in verses 43-44:
Mk 10:43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
Mk 10:44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
WOW! Didn’t expect that one did they?
Whoever wants to be great, must be a servant.
Whoever wants to be first, must be slave to all.
Again, WOW! That does not compute.
That’s not the kind of attitude that moves you up in today’s world.
Today, big corporations and businesses, are looking for you to be aggressive, think of yourself first, do your best to outshine the others so you can move your way up the ladder.
How many of you have seen the TV show, “The Apprentice?”
Donald Trump has made millions & millions of $$$ and now has his own TV program. I think he gets some kick back any time somebody quotes his famous line: YOU’RE FIRED!
Why is this show such a success? We get to watch these excited young business people fight their way up the corporate ladder. They learn to work with each other and try to be a team, but the attitudes are revealed by the private interviews and by watching their faces when one of their fellow workers says something that they think is completely absurd. Yet the goal is to beat everyone else out by being deceptive, backstabbing, crafty and strategic. This is a very good picture of what our society today thinks is the way to be great.
Yet Jesus sets a whole different standard for being great, and not only does He say it as we read a little while ago, He demonstrates it for us.
Let’s now jump to the book of John in the 13th chapter.
Here we get the picture that Jesus wants us to see.
Jn 13:1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.