September 5, 2012

Study the Word Wednesday: What is Attitude?

What is Attitude?
Attitude, according to a dictionary, is "manner, disposition, or feeling with regard to person or thing. Position or posture of the body." Which leads us to see that attitude is more than just a feeling. A person is able to say what she feels without using actual words. (example, if my children are fighting and I make one of them apologize to the other... even though they might say it with words, their body language usually shows a different attitude.) 

The bible is full of examples where attitude is more than mere words. 

  • "And Jacob noticed that Laban's attitude toward him was not what it had been" Genesis 31:2
  • "Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed" Daniel 3:19
  • "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus" Philippians 2:5
  • "For seven days they celebrated with joy the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the King of Assyria, so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God is Israel" Ezra 6:22
  • So the Lord said to Solomon, 'Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates" 1Kings 11:11
Charles Swindoll has written an insightful outlook on attitude and its importance, I'm sure most of us have read or heard some of it in our lives:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
“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.
“The remarkable thing is—we have a choice every day of our lives regarding the attitude we 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, and that is our attitude. . . .
“I’m convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you.
“We are in charge of our attitudes.”

He shows us that we are in charge of our attitudes. Different kinds of circumstances happen around us, but it is up to us how we react to those circumstances. Our words say much about our attitude, but our actions say even more. Our body language is extremely important. Attitudes are more than feelings. We all have feelings, both good and bad. Attitudes, however, are born from feelings that are primarily present in our lives. If happy, positive feelings are primarily present in your life, you will be a happy, positive person. If you harbor bitterness and unforgiveness deep inside, you will appear bitter and hard to others.

Ask the Lord to search your heart and show you the wrong attitudes you need to correct. No matter how highly we might like to think of ourselves, we have to admit... there's always room for improvement. ;)

1 comment:

MrsP said...

While I worked as a teacher, I used to hang the Swindoll quote in my classroom. For teenagers--and for us, too--it's so true.