They say a bad attitude is a bit like a flat tyre, impossible to move forward until you fix it.
Actually the more you drive on a flat tyre the more damage we do to the car, the more we live with bad attitudes the more damage we do to ourselves and those around us.
Our attitude is something that effects everything we do.
Have you ever been in a meeting where someone has got a bad attitude, it can feel like the Dementors from Harry Potter sucking all the life and positivity out of the room. The fruit of a bad attitude isn’t great but it can spread across a room in seconds, and affect and infect vast numbers of people really easily.
Our attitude is a small thing that can effect so much.
James warns us about the tongue and the damage that this can cause, but sometimes even if our lips don’t move our body language, posture, eye contact (or lack of it) general stuff can effect everything. Interestingly sociologist reckon that our actual words matter less than the way we say them. We can make our feelings known without saying a word.
A withering look, or a dismissive roll of the eyes -or whatever- can cut as deep as any barbed comment or put down.
I know for me personally, there are times when I can bite my lip and not say stuff, but I wonder whether my body language is shouting into the room?
The Psalmist says “Search me O God and know my heart” -a challenging prayer- going on to say “an see if there is any offensive way in me”, in other words asking God ‘is my behaviour righteous in your sight?’
In my experience it is the Holy Spirit who, gently and in love, convicts us when our attitude isn’t right, when we see the problem and asked for forgiveness, we need to ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to enable and empower us to live differently, and nudge us with his gentle conviction when we slip back into our old bad ways.
One of the greatest challenges in scripture is in Paul’s letter to the Philippians when he quotes what we think was a popular worship song at that time in the Church when he says “your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus”.
That’s the call and the standard, a Christ-like attitude, this attitude has its roots in humility, “he who was in his nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped…but humbled himself…being found in human likeness… became obedient unto death, even death on a cross”
Our pride spoils our attitude, our pride normally rests on our identity, fuelled by our insecurities, encouraged by the pain of injustices, yet Jesus had a good attitude because he knew who he was in relationship to his father which drove away those insecurities (note the devil attacks his identity, “IF you are Gods Son”), Jesus attitude remained Holy even when suffering the greatest injustice human beings have ever inflicted on anyone -the crucifixion of the sinless God- even amid that strain Christ’s attitude was awesomely Godly “Father, Forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing” -I suspect my attitude would be a million miles away from this!
So, a challenge for us all, is to say to Christ “Help me to have the same attitude as you, even when it is tough, especially when it’s tough”.