“Attitude is everything! Have a good one.” You can find these words written on my class rules poster in the fourth grade classroom I teach. Amongst all of the other rules about raising your hand to speak or bringing your materials to class every day is this rule about attitude. Attitude truly is everything both in life and in our Christian walk.
But what does a good attitude look like? How should a Christian think and act to be considered having a good attitude in the eyes of God? The Bible gives us some insight into where our hearts should lie and our motivation for being a follower of Christ. Naturally, we should seek out the wisdom and guidance of God through his word. Even more importantly is allowing that word to change us from the inside, molding our attitude into one God can use.
The apostle Paul, in Philippians 1:27, gives us a clue of where our attitude should be. “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” We carry around with us the knowledge of this great gospel of Jesus Christ, so we should respond to life’s circumstances as he would. Sounds pretty hard to do considering that Jesus responded perfectly to all that life threw at him.
Where we can learn from Jesus is in the love he showed through humility. Jesus never sought to fight for his own agenda or serve just his needs. He was about his Father’s business (Luke 2:49). He served others and gave his life to pay our debt (Matthew 20:28).
The only way to make a real change in our attitudes is to be transformed. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1-2). We were created to be something greater than who we currently are. We were created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. “Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its evil desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
We must relinquish control and be made into a new creature; a creature with the attitude and mind of Christ.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus; Who being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!”