Our theme for this month: “A New Year, A New Beginning”
Our Bible verse for today: “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Don’t stifle the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Fix that attitude!”
Some of us need a serious attitude adjustment. You’re not going to fix much of anything else in your life until you fix your attitude. Perhaps you’ve heard that clever old saying that goes, “A bad attitude is like a flat tire – you’re not going to get very far until you change it!”
It’s true. A positive, optimistic attitude is like a turbo-charger for life. It will propel you forward. A negative and pessimistic attitude is like a flat tire that you can’t drive on. Or, shifting metaphors, it’s like an anchor that you drag behind you, it slows you down and holds you back.
My favorite book about approaching life with a good attitude (besides the Bible itself) is “The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews. It’s a story about a man named David Ponder whose life is a train wreck. His biggest problem is how he thinks about himself and about his circumstances. So, God takes David on a trip through time to have encounters with historical figures, each of whom teaches him a powerful life-lesson about the importance of thinking right and of having an optimistic and positive attitude. You can read the book yourself (and I hope you do), but this morning I’ll offer you a summary of two important life-lessons David learned about having a good attitude:
With respect to being happy: “Happiness is a choice. I can choose to think thoughts and engage in activities that bring me joy. I choose to be happy. I smile at people. People are drawn to me because I have joy in my heart, a smile on my face, and laughter in my voice. Life itself is a privilege. I choose to live it with joy and to the fullest. I do not deny the reality of my situation, but I do deny the finality of it. This too shall pass. I choose to be happy.”
With respect to persistence and perseverance: “I hold fast to my dreams and visions. I stay the course. I do not quit. Fatigue is often a precursor to victory. I will not be one of those who gave up just before the victory would have come. I waste little time worrying about how things are now, and focus instead on how they are going to be. In the game of life nothing is less important than the score at halftime. Trying times produce great men. I will persist and persevere.”
If you read that book, all throughout it you will hear the words of the Apostle Paul in the lessons learned by David Ponder: “Rejoice always. Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything.” And, (this is important), “Don’t stifle the Spirit.” The implication is that if you are negative, pessimistic, prayerless, and ungrateful you are hindering the work the Holy Spirit wants to do in your life.
Wow, you better fix that attitude!
As you go forward into 2020, a positive and optimistic attitude will be essential to helping you accomplish your goals for the New Year. So first and foremost, I encourage you to work on that attitude.