A Bad Attitude
How has your attitude been this week? I must admit that mine has not been stellar as I have complained about the heat most of the week. However, I reconsidered my attitude during a necessary stop, at the gas station.
It was one more stop that I didn’t need that day. A day where everything was not going as planned. The night before revealed a plumbing issue and I had spent a gross amount of fruitless time trying to obtain the part that I needed to repair it. Apparently, they don’t sell what I need in my area nor did anyone seem to know where it could be obtained, but that is another story. I was exhausted, hungry, tired, and did I mention HOT from my travels! The last thing I wanted to do was stop and pump gas. But, as I had spent hours driving around from supply house to supply house I finally was so low on gas that I had no choice but to stop or I would be walking.
Gas Station Joy
So, in the heat, I climbed out of my car and made my way to the pump. As I went through the pump procedures the man across from me smiled largely and asked how I was doing? I smiled and laughed as I said frankly, I was HOT! But I returned the greeting to him asking how he was doing? He smiled again and said yes, it was hot, but he felt indeed blessed because God was good no matter the weather. I was a bit chagrined as I realized that I was also blessed but, yet I stood complaining about the weather.
The man and I bantered back and forth about the goodness of God as our gas pumped into our vehicles. I watched as he bid me a good day and pulled out in his van loaded with a group of youth. God readjusted my attitude by placing this man at the pump with me. As I got back in my car I realized that even when things don’t go the way I want, life is throwing me curveballs, and the weather doesn’t suit me there is still joy found through God and all that He provides.
Insides and Outsides
Sometimes, we don’t realize how our attitude is portraying itself to others. Perhaps you heard about the man who spent 3½ hours enduring a long line, surly clerks, and insane regulations at the Department of Motor Vehicles? On his way home he remembered he needed to stop at a toy store to pick up a gift for his son. He brought his choice, a baseball bat, to the cash register. The clerk asked, “Cash or charge?”The man snapped, “Cash!”Then realizing his rudeness, he explained, “I’ve spent the afternoon at the Department of Motor Vehicles.” The clerk smiled at him sweetly and asked, “Shall I gift wrap the bat? Or are you going back there directly?”
Have you been to that place in life where things are just so frustrating that it is difficult to see the joy, must less rejoice? The great teacher and apostle, Paul, not only spoke about joy but fully lived the example that our inner attitude does not have to reflect our outward circumstances or situations. Paul declared consistently that the secret to his life of joy was his relationship with Christ.
We all want to be happy but often our day-to-day life tosses us around. There are successes, failures, and inconveniences to include irritable weather as we ride the roller coaster of life. As Christians, Paul tells us we are to set an example through all circumstances. We are to find and reflect joy nonetheless even when all we want to do is hold onto an attitude of complaint. For though joy may not be visually seen around us, Christ still reigns and holds us close. Therefore, we must rejoice, all the time.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again, rejoice! Philippians 4:4 (NLT)
Be Alert to Joy
The man at the gas station and the clerk at the store reminds us that we must be alert to correction in our thoughts, attitude, and most important, our actions. By studying the Bible, you can reflect and prepare yourself, using it as a protector and teaching instrument. Through careful study and alignment, you can be alert to when you need to change the way you think and act.
It is so important to remember that no matter the challenges you face whether major or minor, Christ is always with you. It is easy to get discouraged about unpleasant circumstances, overwhelming life situations, and even getting caught up too seriously in unimportant events.
When you find you have lost the joy to rejoice it is time to look at life from a different perspective. For the joy of life comes from Christ dwelling within you. When He returns, you will fully realize ultimate joy. He will fulfill His final purpose for you at this time and that is beyond the greatest joy you will ever experience. This is the reason to rejoice today and live a life that reflects an inner attitude of joy.
Challenge yourself to not allow your outer circumstances to portray an attitude of anything less than joy. Live a life of radiating joy and rejoicing. Put the complaining out the door being motivated instead in the knowledge that ultimate joy is only in Christ who lives within you. Surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that joy comes only from the one who loves you and gives you life eternal. Rejoice in the joys of life!
Love in Christ,
Many things are possible for the person who has hope. Even more is possible for the person who has faith. And still, more is possible for the person who knows how to love. But everything is possible for the person who practices all three virtues.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you find yourself proclaiming complaints or joy? Have you fully realized the blessing of your relationship in Christ? Share your thoughts on the often-difficult task of reflecting an attitude of joy no matter the circumstances.