A continuously critical attitude toward those around me will consume all that is healthy and joy producing in my life.
A farmer standing by the road one day and seen a vehicle filled with household goods moving toward him.
The farmer shouted where are you moving from. We’re moving from Brownsville. How much further it Jonestown? The farmer said why are you moving from your home. The people in the truck said “we’re moving away from the negativity and ungratefulness that was in that town.”
The farmer said well you are moving has the same kind of people you left.
Far more often than we care to admit, outlook determines outcome. The way that we look at a matter, the attitude that we choose, has direct bearing on how we experience reality. Two people can look at the very same circumstances and experience it entirely different based upon the attitude the choose-the patterns of thinking that they have formed over a long period of time.
I was at church this morning and we were singing worship songs. A lady was dancing and moving her arms in a way that I’d never seen before. But that was her way of worshipping. Another lady behind me went to the isle where the dancing lady was. She looked up and grabbed something from above and threw it down and stomped on it. Where ever your attitude was you could have thought she was being disrespectful to the lady that was dancing. Or you could see it as a act of grabbing the devil and stomping on him. What ever you thought would change your attitude toward both of the ladies. It turned out that she had seen a spider hanging from the web and she looked up to see the spider, grabbed the spider in her hands threw it on the ground and stomped on it. What was my eyes were telling me. What was a pattern of thinking telling me was she being. Was she being disrespectful to the lady that was dancing. My pastor thought she was grabbing the devil and stomping on him. The reality was she was killing a spider. There’s three different ways that circumstance and experience was seen based on your pattern of thinking.
In Matthew 7: 3 Jesus says “ Why do look at the speck in your brothers eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”
We choose our attitudes. I focus on this because it is true and because until we accept responsibility for our attitudes, we will never be able to change. Although the concept of personal responsibility is in no way intended to ignore the role of background on our attitude. Some of us struggle more with certain attitudes because of the cultures we are from, the kind of homes we grew up in, or the kind of churches we attended during our younger years. Those factors have certainly influenced our tendency toward certain attitudes.
Maybe you grew up in a home that was forever picking out your imperfections or finding fault with everything you did. Maybe you were endlessly criticized yourself and hear that same attitude in the way you talk to or about someone else. Possibly you struggle in many public settings to simply relax and enjoy what is going on. Because all you have known how to do is inspect and examine and form opinions about what you see and experience.
If you grew up learning to criticize the speck in others’ eyes while a log formed in yours.
We all have a choice to change our attitudes. If I had kept the same attitude that I had learned growing up, that there was only bad in the world, and everyone was going to stab you in the back every chance they got. Where would I be today. I made the choice to see good in everyone and everything in the world. I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Make that choice to change your attitude and move forward, not backward.