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Sunday, February 9, 2014

How's Your 'Tude?

I'm gonna shoot straight with you here: my attitude currently stinks.  It reeks.  The odor is toxic and rotten.  It smells of unwashed socks and my soul is full of gunk...oh wait that's the Grinch.  But seriously, I need a MAJOR attitude adjustment!

What is my problem, you ask?  Let's just say I have not had the best outlook on some of my violin repertoire, orchestra pieces we have to play, needing to deal with people respectfully, and giving God control.  Go ahead, give me that judgmental look.  You may be tempted to raise your eyebrows at me the next time you see me.  I deserve it.

My sour attitude sometimes gets the better of me and I complain to anyone who will hear.  That's not fair to them.  Yeah, good friends are there to listen to you and bear your burdens, but they aren't supposed to be completely immersed in them!  They have their own problems to deal with.  I shouldn't be forcing them to listen to my nagging, negative words as often as I do.

What have I done about it?  Not nearly enough.  I'm the queen of excuses, so here's one: I don't take the proper amount of time to sit with God and work it out.  I mention it to Him and pray about it, but I don't do anything about it.  I don't sit and let Him show me what to do.  And honestly, in some situations, I don't want to do anything about it.  I want to be justified in my annoyance and frustration.  I don't want to change how I deal with certain people or change what I think about certain pieces of music I have to play.

But is that the way a Christian should think and act?  Yes, we are human and will resort to our sinful nature at times.  However, that is not as valid of an excuse as we would like to think.  Philippians 2:3-5 says, (I've italicized what I'm going to highlight) "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus."

Selfish ambition will look different in every person's life and stage that they are in.  Currently, mine is using my attitude as a way to get attention from people and to make me feel important.  We are called to live holy lives; that is what Paul is challenging the Philippians with.  Is that how I am living?  Right now, I'd have to answer no.

What is the mindset of Christ Jesus?  He was sinless and perfect.  He had no desire for affection from others that was gained in a less than attractive way.  Christ is the Holy Lamb of God and wants the best for us.  Is that my thought when I begin a conversation with a friend?  Or do I have ulterior motives: to get someone on my side, to say something regarding one of the situations I dislike that will cause sympathy or will be considered witty?

What about you?  What is your attitude like?  What is your selfish ambition?  Do you know the mindset of Jesus Christ?  Or are you on the same boat as me; paddling against the current with one oar of Stubbornness and the other of Negativity as you sail the SS Rotten?  This is my semester of needing an attitude adjustment.  I just need to be willing to let God take my oars and toss them overboard and guide me in the right direction for a while before fashioning me new paddles, ones of Grace and Understanding.

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