SEPTEMBER 25, 2016
"DEVELOPING GOOD ATTITUDES"
We can choose our attitudes! This might surprise you, but the bible insists it's true. Good thinking is an attitude that can be cultivated. "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it"(Psalm 118:24, NIV). We can determine to have a positive attitude toward a new day. We can decide whether to be cooperative and pleasant to people we meet this day or cantankerous and resentful. Scripture tells us to capture our thoughts and make them God's. "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (II Cor. 10:5). This is an astonishing insight. That our actions and our words needed to be obedient to Christ we knew, but our very thoughts too? Someone might object, "I can't help the way I think. I have no control over the way I feel!" Yes, you do! I'm not talking about a momentary feeling—grief over the death of a loved one or anger at the mistreatment of a child. I am talking about the way we dwell on certain things. If we nurse our grudges and dwell on resentments, our thoughts will control us and not the other way around!
Paul urges us to think "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is admirable" (Phil. 4:8) as opposed to dwelling on the ugly, the impure and the sinful. Many of us perversely enjoy negative feelings. We love to nurse a grudge, recall a wrong done to us, and feel sorry for ourselves. We're dwelling on the negative! This goes beyond the shallow tents of vacuum cleaner salesmanship; this is not Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People principles with a sprinkle of bible thrown on top. The Lord Himself tells us not to dwell on the ugly and bitter but on the good and the uplifting! is that unspiritual, worldly minded people have taken over the mechanism of teaching and decision making in the church. That's how you get people saying things like: "It's what 20-something's (or baby boomers, or the young people) want "or"I don't think God would demand that we do that" as if God would wish apart from what His word says. Paul is not impressed with human reasoning, referring to it as a "depraved mind" (Rom. 1:28). This is a pretty stunning description of the way humans think. Why do Christians put such great stock in the demands of society? "So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking" (Eph. 4:17) It is my hope and prayer that we at the South Beloit Church of Christ will always try and guide our attitudes to be like that of Christ Jesus even where our young people are concerned. May the Lord God Almighty forever keep you and your love family in His loving arms of care?
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