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Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!
When I was a teenager, my Dad decided it was time for me to learn how to fly one of his several airplanes. Considering my driving history, I thought he surely had a screw loose, somewhere. By time I was 16, I had already totaled a few cars. Still, I do love to fly, and had always wanted to fly right seat with my Dad on his adventures.
Our airport was the municipal airport in Plainview, Texas. At over 3300 feet, altitude, the airport has a whole lot of sky to fling your airplane into. Dad made sure the wind was relatively calm before he would let me take off. The high plains are very windy much of the time. There is a saying in Lubbock, Texas (45 miles south of Plainview), that if the wind ever stopped blowing, everyone would fall down. Wind is a fact of life, there, and you adjust your walking by leaning into the wind.
Taking off into the wind made flying that much more fun, as I had to generate less lift with the engine. Flying in the wind, however is a challenge. This is where the word attitude comes in. In flight, your attitude is the approach you have to take to flying in the wind, ESPECIALLY when you are landing an airplane. Landing an airplane on a calm day was challenging enough for me, but landing in high wind was a contest between me and the wind to see who will master my aircraft. This is when attitude becomes everything.
When nature threw strong wind at me, I had to turn the airplane into the wind on approach to the landing strip. This is called “Crabbing”. I am approaching a runway almost sideways, and at the last-minute, I correct my attitude so I can land moving in the right direction. Another factor in landing attitude is that I could approach the runway only in a narrowly defined angle. This is called the “Glide Path” . As you approach the runway, you will see a group of lights. If my glide path is too low, I will see three or more yellow lights. If my glide path is too high, I will see red lights, if my glide path is correct for the landing approach, I will see green lights.
Maintaining the right attitude for landing is everything, too. I am already crabbing in to the runway because of a wind situation, and I also must keep my approach angle right. If I am yellow on approach, I will not land on the runway. If I am red, I will land too far in on the runway to keep from overshooting. I must crab in on a green light.
While I am worried about those two aspects of attitude, I also have to make sure my wings are as level as I can keep them on approach, and that my nose is not too high, or too low. So, there are possibly 4 parts of attitude I must pay attention to when I am landing. Overdoing or under-doing any part can mean a bad landing. Bad landings can complicate your life in ways you don’t need. It was all about attitude.
“WELL, THE METAPHOR IS OBVIOUS, ISN’T IT?”
I hope so.
At CATES (Where I work), one of the twelve principles we live by is: “ATTITUDE – We choose to be positive”. If you want to approach a subject and land on it with successful outcomes, it helps if your attitude is positive. Being positive makes all the difference in the world. It is fairly clear, after over 8000 years of examination, that God has given us the ability to affect the outcomes of every aspect of our lives, simply by determining what we believe is true about it. Our beliefs change every aspect of our life. If you believe things will always go wrong, then you will experience that outcome. If your approach to your fellow-man is negative, then you will reap the benefit of your view of others, and have no genuine friends.
Attitude is one of the very first things the Lord had to really work with me on. I was a negative and pessimistic individual, whose attitude was reinforced by the outcomes of my life. My assumption was that I was right because everything always turned out exactly as I thought they would. God showed me that attitude is a choice. How I choose to approach anything will directly affect the outcomes. Attitude is a choice. It is a habit. It comes from the heart. It becomes positive when you learn to look at the world differently.
“HOW DID YOU DO IT?”
I’m glad you asked. I didn’t.
My attitude about life, work, love, marriage, co-workers, clientele, family, or anything didn’t change until I fully understood what the finished work of the cross gave me. When I accepted that Jesus BECAME all sin for all time, and took on the wrath of God in our place, and in exchange, God poured on us all the benefits of being His child, an heir to the throne, a member of God’s family, a love beyond measure, and total forgiveness for all my sin, I finally understood what it felt like to see the world and people the way God does.
I learned to love because God loved me enough to bury my sin with Jesus, and raise my dead soul into a new life. I had been born in the spirit. Where I was dead, Jesus’s resurrection gave me life in Him. The Spirit of God cleansed me and changed my attitude. I began thinking new thoughts., I loved for the first time. I saw people as my brother or sister. While I am aware of my and others continuing failures, I felt only love for them, and chose to show grace and mercy. It was easy to do this because this was what God showed me.
So, frankly, I didn’t change my attitude. Experience has taught me that, I can fake a good attitude only so long, but whatever is hidden in my heart will become manifest over time. On my own strength I do not love long, I show no mercy or grace, and my attitude is very rotten. Since I no longer live, but Christ lives in me, I am able to be like Christ and love, show grace and mercy, and look for opportunities to give with a positive attitude.
GUARD YOUR THOUGHTS
I cannot, by my own strength, maintain this loving attitude. Only when I guard my thoughts am I able to be filled with this powerful love. I can break my connection to God simply by going back to my old way of thinking and behaving. God leaves this up to me. The way I maintain a good attitude is by staying in the word, praying continuously, and submitting to Gods love and will. It is only by the continual renewing of my mind that I can be a blessing instead of a curse. I am confident in Christ enough that I know I am weak, but Christ in me is infinitely strong. If I catch the old self trying to assert his attitude and beliefs, all I have to do is remember that my old self died with Christ, and my new self, the child of God, is who lives through Christ.
Attitude is a choice. When the blowing wind of earthly things challenges my attitude, when the weight of the world wants to crush me, when my co-workers decide to be peevish and negative, when a thoughtless and selfish humanity threatens to ruin my day, I simply remember who I am in Christ, and ask the Spirit of the Living God to sustain me so I can be a witness to all the things that would otherwise drag me down. A simple choice of attitude can turn things around, and your witness can cause others to want to know where you have this strength of character. Then you can tell them why you are joyful in the face of adversity, and strong when temptation desires your soul.
Think on the good things of God continuously, and you will see the world in a very different lite.
It is all a choice, a labor into the rest of the finished work of Christ.
You will always get what you are looking for.
Let’s be about it
I love you all,
David G. Perkins
PS – Click HERE to see how the Bible addresses ATTITUDE.