You choose your attitude
Don't wait until your circumstances are happy before you choose to praise God for the blessings in your life.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. (Philippians 2:5-7)
Part of being a steward is having a choice in what decisions you make. You can either be a good steward or a bad steward, but regardless of how you manage the resources under your care, the choice is up to you.
So what happens when you don’t have a choice?
What if your job is awful? What if your coworkers are rude? What if your rent is too high, and your landlord is stingy? What if your car is too old? What if you struggle with chronic illness?
What if your life is such a challenge that you don’t have a choice in how you respond to negative circumstances? What if your life is just one disaster after another?
Life stinks sometimes. It’s true. There’s a popular message in current media that supports the idea that in challenging times we may not have the luxury of choosing right or wrong. That our situation can become so dire that we have to choose a questionable option because it’s the only option available.
But do your circumstances actually control whether or not you have a choice?
I’d love to tell you that’s true. I’d love to tell you that life can back you so far into a corner that you are forced to choose something sinful in order to survive, but that’s just not the case.
Jesus died to give you a choice, and there’s no situation or circumstance in existence that can take away your free will. Sorry to break it to you. If you know Jesus, you are still responsible to choose what will honor God, no matter what circumstance you’re facing.
No, you can’t control your job. You can’t control other people. You can’t control your rent or your taxes or the age of your vehicle or your chronic illnesses. But do you know what you can control?
Yeah, I know. Harsh.
Believe me, I’m talking to myself here. Those of you who know me well know that I’ve had to walk this road. You shouldn’t try to wait until your circumstances are happy before you choose to praise God for the blessings in your life. If you think you can wait until your situation is better, think again.
If your attitude depends on whether you feel happy or not, you have effectively made an idol out of your circumstances.
I think it was Charles Swindoll who said that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. And the way you control how you react to life is through your attitude.
You are responsible to steward your attitude. It’s your mindset. It’s your perspective. It’s your worldview. And if you don’t take steps to control it, it will control you through your sinful nature.
It’s easy to complain. It’s easy to gripe. It’s easy to see everything that’s wrong and everything that hurts and all the ways life has disappointed you. But what good does focusing on those things do? How does any of that help you, encourage others, or support the Body of Christ?
Whatever you do, whatever is done to you, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Remember the attitude He had.
It’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to acknowledge that life is hard. But don’t let the heaviness of life dictate your attitude. Your attitude is something you can choose.
Questions for Reflection
What does it mean to you that Jesus died to give you the freedom to choose?
What happens when you feel like you don’t have a choice in how you respond to your circumstances?
How is one way you can adjust your attitude today?
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