In my experience and observation, one of the greatest limiters or greatest releasers in life is simply your attitude. It may actually be THE most significantly important aspect of life in terms of determining levels of effectiveness, influence and happiness, outside of faith in Jesus Christ
The followin are my sermon notes from a sermon I did January 2012
The key aspect of attitude is this:-
William James an American psychologist and philosopher captured the fundamental significance of attitude in his profound words “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
Attitude Defined: Attitude is a mental state relative to what we believe and affects our entire lives. We express our attitude in our words and actions.
It is a habitual way of thinking that can either lean towards an optimistic or pessimistic viewpoint. Whether your thinking is “full-glass” or “empty-glass” in nature, you have the ability to choose your own attitude.
Attitudes are greatly influenced by association which means they are contagious.
The best way to develop a positive mental attitude is to surround yourself with optimists. Positive people have a magnetic influence which attracts help and support that assist them in achieving their goals. They have developed a ‘can do’ attitude and a resilient nature that propels them forward.
Once you begin to condition your thinking, you will develop a positive mental attitude that will greatly accelerate your future success.
Charles Swindoll wrote a wonderful paragraph about attitude in his book, Strengthening Your Grip. He said:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church … a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”
We really do have a choice about our attitude. Like the Israelites, (after God took them out of Egypt and into the Wilderness) we can be critical and complain about everything that happens to us. Or we can look on the positive side with an attitude of faith that the God who parted the Red Sea just might still be at work in the world.
I remember reading about a certain man who went to church one Sunday.
He frowned when the organist missed a note. He glared menacingly at two whispering teenagers. He looked repeatedly at his watch. When the offering plate was passed, he felt that the usher was watching to see how much he gave. He sat tight-lipped during all of the hymn singing. During the sermon, he felt pleased with himself when he caught the preacher making a slip of the tongue. As he sneaked out a side door during Communion, he muttered to himself, “That was a terrible service, why do I bother?”
Another man went to church on the same Sunday. He chuckled at the sight of a father exchanging hugs with the toddler. During the Offertory he wondered, “God has given me so much. Am I giving enough?” He struggled honestly with the scripture readings to find a word to live by. Part of the sermon helped him with a question he had often thought about. He enthusiastically joined in the singing of the closing hymn. As he left the church, he thought to himself, “How good it is to be here together in God’s presence.”
Both men had gone to the same church, on the same Sunday, and each had found exactly what he was looking for. Attitude made all the difference.
But sometimes we find it hard to have a positive attitude. It is so easy to complain about dirty dishes, stinky laundry, and unmade beds. It’s so easy to look on the negative side. I suppose the Israelites got really tired of quail and manna after they had tried Manna Soup, Manna & Quail Casserole, Quail & Manna Casserole, Hot & Spicy Shredded Manna, Baked Quail with Sour Manna Sauce, and Sweet & Sour Manna. I’m sure they got tired of the same food every day, but they had the wrong attitude. They forgot how bad things would be without God’s help.
One lady demonstrated the attitude we need to have when she wrote this unusual prayer:
Thank you for this sink of dirty dishes; we have plenty of food to eat.
Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry; we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.
And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds; they were so warm and comfortable last night. I know that many have no bed. My thanks to you, Lord for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered, messy, soggy, grimy towels and the dirty lavatory, they are so convenient. Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly; it has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals. Thank you Lord for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today; it has baked so many good meals over the years. The whole family is grateful for this tall grass that needs mowing and the lawn that needs raking; we all enjoy the yard. Thank you Lord even for that slamming screen door. My kids are healthy and able to run and play. Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says that You have richly blessed my family. I shall do them cheerfully and gratefully. Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings, thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf. Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you Lord, that I can see; many are blind. Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising, thank you Lord that I have the strength to rise; there are many who are bedridden. Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned and tempers are short, and my children are so loud; thank you Lord for my family; there are many who are lonely. Even though our breakfast table never looks like the picture in a magazines and the menu is at times not balanced, thank you Lord for the food we have; there are many who are hungry. Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous, thank you Lord for the opportunity to work; there are many who have no job. Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest, thank you Lord, for Life.
Attitude is a choice, but it makes all the difference.
Proverbs 23: 7 As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
Attitude defined – an attitude is an inward feeling expressed by outward behaviour
Five Reasons Why Attitude Is Important
1) Our Attitude Determines Our Approach to Life
The illustration of the lindburger cheese – the grandkids that put the foul smelling cheese under the nose is of the grandad while he was asleep. He then woke up and thought the whole world smelt funny
2) Our Attitude Determines Our Relationship with People
The golden rule-do unto others as you would have them do unto you
3) Often Our Attitude Is the Only Difference between Success in Failure
4) Our Attitude Can Give Us an Uncommonly Positive Perspective
Look at the two contrasting attitudes in the story of David and Goliath. The children of Israel-He’s so big we can never kill him, whereas David through – he’s so big I can’t miss
5) Our Attitude Is Not Automatically Good Just Because We Are Christians we must make positive choices
From my research on the net, I cam across this list. Inspiring to say the least. I do realize that the claims that are made are not backed up with empirical data, but I included the list because it does show how powerful attitude is.
25 More Reasons That a Positive Attitude is Important…
- You are more motivated to get things done and achieve your goals when you have a positive attitude.
- You expect positive outcomes and results, and you usually get them.
- Problems are no longer problems, but become opportunities to learn and grow.
- You have higher self-esteem. You believe in yourself and what you are capable of.
- You see opportunities where other people see problems.
- Your thinking is more creative.
- You have more inspiration and you rely less on others to help motivate you.
- You are generally much happier.
- You have much less stress.
- Your health is better because you are less stressed.
- Your immune system is stronger.
- You will live a longer life.
- You have more friends. Who wants to hang out with somebody who is negative?
- You are more influential.
- People will respect you more.
- You make a better leader or manager.
- Your significant other will like being around you more.
- Achieving success is easier and more fun.
- You have more perseverance since you expect things will turn out well in the end
- You have more energy. Negativity can really drain you!
- You will affect others have a more positive attitude. Attitudes are contagious.
- You bounce back from setbacks much faster.
- You enjoy your work more.
- Your kids will like being around you more.
- You enjoy more success in all areas of life.
4 Positive Biblical Attitudes to Have
1) Mountain attitude
Love the story of Caleb in Joshua 14, where at the age of 83, he says to Joshua, give me the mountain. Now the mountain he wants is a mountain that was heavily fortified by the giants of Anakim. But Joshua’s age and the challenges that he faced were not going to stop him, instead his faith and boldness came to the fore. We should have a similar attitude.
-Caleb Joshua 14
“give me the mountain”
2) A Can Do Attitude
Philippines 4: 13 – Paul in life had can-do attitude – through the strength that he had in Christ
3) Servant Attitude-Jesus
Love the servant heart of Christ – Jesus said that he came to not to be served but to serve. True servant hearted leadership. As Christians and leadership, if we have the heart for people that Jesus did, that will pervade through to our attitude.
4) Take a Risk Attitude
Peter got out of the boat when Jesus invited him too. The other 11 disciples stayed dry and in the comfort and security of the boat that they thought was going to sink only minutes earlier. Funny hey. Peter took a risk and God came through for him. We need to get out of the comfort zone and take risks in life.
We need to have a go in life
5 wrong attitudes of people in the bible
1) Grasshopper Attitude
The Children of Israel Had Serious Inferiority
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants[d] (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
2) Negative against God
11 Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
13 Gideon said to Him, “O my lord,[a] if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”
3) A Poverty Attitude
Judas and the Alabaster box
6 And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. 8 But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.”
10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. 11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.
4) Juniper tree attitude
1 King’s 19
-giving up on life
1 Kings 19:4
4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”
“The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.”
5) I am a Victim Mentality
Adam and Eve Both separately had a victim Attitude
Adam blamed the woman
Eve blamed the snake
Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
13 And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Thank you for the power of choice that you have given to us. We don’t take lightly this incredible gift. And Lord within the scope of the gift you have given us the power to choose our attitude. We ask you today that you help us improve our attitude to be more reflective of biblical values. We want to have an attitude of faith, boldness and passion and love for others. Help us change God.