Summary: Developing the attitude of Christ is central to discipleship. His is the gold standard of all attitudes!
The Longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
Jenny gave me a copy of those words by Chuck Swindoll last week. They certainly have the ring of truth to me, don’t they to you?
Attitudes. What are they? Here’s a few other quotes you may enjoy.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader’s Digest, June 1995
The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes. ~William James
When you feel dog tired at night, it may be because you’ve growled all day long. ~Author Unknown
A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. ~Hugh Downs
In last week’s lesson we talked about the process of maturity and how that process involves behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and relationships.
These characteristics are developed by instruction, discipline, mentoring, and fellowship.
The key aspects of each are obedience, humility, Christ centeredness, and love.
Today I want to look closer at one of those maturity process characteristics: Christian attitudes.
A godly attitude, just like godly behavior, comes from godly instruction, discipline, mentoring and relationships. Christian attitudes are Christ like attitudes. We can be very positive about God’s grace and truth while being very negative about evil and sinfulness and still have a Christian attitude through it all.
Listen again to the mature attitude for a Christian is described in Philippians 2:5-11
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The key aspects of the attitude of Christ here are summed up in the words: humble obedience to God the Father.
Jesus was willing to let go of the glory of his divine form and take upon himself the form of a servant. Then when he found himself in that servant form, what did he do? He did what servants do. He served. He humbled himself. He obeyed. To what extent did he take this? Just how far did this attitude go? Where did Jesus draw the line of humble obedience? What was the finish line of his attitude? It was to his death! Even death on a cross! What an attitude!!! It was beyond humble and obedient… it was sacrificial. Therefore it was even redeeming towards others. Jesus’ attitude allowed him to express the divine love of God.
Jesus sets the “attitude” standard for all others who follow. “Have this attitude in yourselves,” says the Word of God, “which was also in Christ Jesus.” How are we doing here? Do you pass the Christian attitude test? Are you willing to grow into a more Christ-like attitude?
What follows in the second chapter of Philippians applies the attitude of Jesus Christ to us. There are some things here that can help us develop that very attitude.
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.