Attitude is everything.
This is something I drill into my kids a lot! As a parent I am bombarded with questions that surround what is happening next, or can we do ____ ? My kids have learned that it all depends on attitude. Sometimes I receive a poor attitude or response. In those moments of disrespect or improper attitude they get thumped on the head. We have some young friends who are close to us that have attitude and other issues and they are learning to think before they speak!
I find myself going to God often with the same questions just in a grown-up style.
When will the blessing come?
When will the prayer be answered?
Why did I lose my job?
Why can’t I find someone nice to date?
God can you just “fix” my spouse or children or parents?
Other times I have a bad attitude about things. I may not like a decision and want to complain or be in a bad mood. God has His reasons. The problem is my attitude toward His leadership and position.
These questions and attitudes often come back with the same answer, “Depends on your attitude.” As I read God’s Word it sometimes feels like I get thumped on the head. Consider Romans 14.
5 One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, yet he thanks God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living. 10 But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the tribunal of God.
I think that many of us want to look at other people rather than ourselves. You or I may believe that a particular activity is acceptable but another follower of Christ does not. If they are in different churches it is not usually a big deal. However, when these different beliefs or interpretations are in the same body it can create tension. Paul wrote to the Romans about these differences. At that time the differences were about types of meat they could buy in the market or the day observed for worship.
For us today, we find differences also. Ours are music style, the way we dress, the version of Scripture we use, how often we attend church, the decorations, the seating options and arrangements, the type of church service offered, choirs, praise teams, or even where the piano is on the stage. All of these items are preferences that we have somehow spiritualized into moral absolutes. Like the meat and day options in Romans 14, there are people on both sides of every issue saying they are the holier for being on that side of the difference.
Thump. We, like the Romans get Jesus thumped.
We all stand before God. Why should we fuss and fight over issues that are preference? Christ died and rose again that we might have life and freedom . The root issue is attitude. Do I think myself holier than someone else? Do I look down on others? Do I judge others? Do I criticize others? Each should bow the knee before God and seek His Will for life every day. Are you where you should be? Are you doing what you should be doing? Is your attitude in step with Jesus?