Check Your Attitude - Part 1 — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Check Your Attitude – Part 1 — Morning Devotions

An attitude is not just how we think, but it's what we think, feel and do. It is vital in how we are as a person.

By Chris WittsSaturday 11 Feb 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Has someone ever said to you, I don’t like your attitude? It can be a very confronting situation—head on with someone who doesn’t like what you said or did, and therefore they feel you have a certain attitude.

A dictionary I read defined attitude as ‘a way of looking at life; a way of thinking, feeling or behaving’. Therefore an attitude is not just the way we think, but the way we think, feel and do. It’s part of our day-to-day life: even without thinking, we display a certain attitude every second we’re awake. “Attitudes are so important,” Winston Churchill once said. “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”. And he was correct.

You meet some people who make you feel like not being with them. Why? Because of a bad or negative attitude. Because our attitudes always reflect what we do. A bad attitude can be caused by lots of things like past experiences and events, like low self-esteem, stress, fear, resentment, anger and an unwillingness to change. I guess you know people like that. It is attitude—not aptitude—that determines one’s altitude in life. It has nothing to do with your ability or education achievements.

Someone has said, It’s hard to be a smart cookie with a crummy attitude. Someone else has said, A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, and yet his attitude is amazing. In his autobiography he said, “I thought continually of the day when I would walk free. I fantasized about what I would like to do”.

In the cockpit of all small planes is the ‘attitude indicator’, a very important piece of equipment that tells the pilot where the plane is in relation to the horizon. It determines the plane’s performance and safety I assume. What or who checks your attitude? Do you care about your attitude, and how it affects others?

The Backward Attitude

Unfortunately, there are negative attitudes like the ‘backward attitude’. What do I mean by that?

Some people just can’t seem to leave the past. They are always focusing on what used to be, the way things were back in the ‘good ol’ days’. Now don’t get me wrong; it’s fine to look back and fondly remember your past. But the problem many of us can have, is that we can be consumed by the past. And that’s not really helpful. It can be a tragic existence for someone locked in the past. It would be far better to have fond memories of the past.

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Of course, a major problem in looking backward is that we rarely see things as they really were. You know how when you’re driving in a car and you look in the mirror, you see the warning, Objects are closer than they appear? Well, when you’re looking in your rear-view mirror in life and you’ve got this backward attitude, it should carry the warning, The past was not as good as it appears.

In the Old Testament we read this extraordinary story in Exodus when Moses led the Israelites out of slavery from Egypt. If you’re familiar with the story, do you remember what happened whenever the going got a little hard in the wilderness? The Israelites would begin grumbling, and the grumbling would always go in the same direction: Oh why did we leave Egypt, things weren’t so bad in Egypt, oh we ought to go back to Egypt.

Seriously? Had they forgotten what it was like in Egypt? They had been slaves there! You can read about their work conditions in Exodus 1. The Egyptians were afraid that the Israelite population was getting too big and they were going to take over the country. So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labour. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centres for the king.

So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy. They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks and do all the work in the fields. They were ruthless in all their demands. Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives: When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.

Is this the life the Israelites wanted to go back to? I don’t think that in their look backward they were seeing clearly.

Listen, your past may have been terrible. Or maybe it really was great. Either way, it’s still the past. And while it may be a nice place to visit, you shouldn’t be living there. Perhaps you need to say, Yesterday ended last night. Don’t live in the past—it’s a negative attitude.

(Read Check Your Attitude – Part 2)