Attitude of Gratitude

Friday, January 5, 2018

Pastor Chuck Swindoll has been in Christian ministry for over 50 years. He is a prolific author, speaker, pastor, and radio and TV host.

One of his more famous writings is on the God given gift of attitude. We have all probably heard enough on attitude and its importance in our world today.

It has always been amazing to me how much attitude impacts my personal and professional life.

Pastor Swindoll wrote about attitude that” life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% how we react to it.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.”

If you can understand what he has written in this quote I am quite sure it can change your life. My first career was in sales and I attended every sales conference and seminar, and I’ve read the books from many authors on attitude and all things related. I get it.

On Saturday I had another example of the importance of attitude not only for our personal and professional lives but for the church as well.

At breakfast Saturday morning I met with two leaders of a congregation I serve part-time.

We were discussing all the various options for this church that has shrunk in numbers and giving and can no longer afford the building they are occupying.

It was a sad discussion on whether or not there was another place in town to worship, would there be someone who would purchase the building and allow us to lease it back from them.

There wasn’t a very positive attitude from these two leaders.

They are tired of the “battle” in and with this congregation and don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Then in the afternoon I visited a new couple to the church. They have been involved in church all their lives and were more than ready to attend the church where I serve and help out where they can.

But they were clear when they said “We don’t believe a church should close! We don’t want to help the church close, we want to help them stay open!” And then they went on to offer a number of positive suggestions that point to some possibilities to keep the ministry afloat.

The difference between the two groups was huge.

The guys at the breakfast had a negative, we can’t do this kind of attitude.

The couple in the afternoon were “gung ho” and ready to go to work with a very positive outlook and attitude.

I believe they will make a difference in this congregation and their positive attitude will affect others.

How is your attitude as we roll into another new year? I don’t know if I feel anything “new” as my year unfolds.

Here in the frozen tundra of Indiana we are facing sub-zero temperatures and wind chills and sometimes I think the weather just sucks the joy out of living.

Do you feel that way?

A thought occurred to me over the weekend: the weather is “outside” and I understand God to be (all things, of course) but “inside!”

In other words, the weather is the weather.

I have no control, it is external to my being. It can affect me, as it does many, BUT, what is my attitude toward weather?

Let’s bundle up and get on with it!! It’s an attitudinal thing…spring is just about 80 days away give or take!

In Philippians 4:8 our Bible encourages our attitudes:

“Whatever things are true, whatever is honest, just, and pure, whatever things are lovely and beautiful, think about these things.”

Sounds like a good description of God, doesn’t it?

Isn’t our God of love true, honest, just and pure? And can’t we agree that God is beautiful and lovely?

And you are also!

You are true, honest, just, pure, beautiful and lovely!!

Let that sink in and take root in your life.

May your 90% be about the true gift of you in the world, and how much God loves you.

Now think about that!!!

Peace, Pr. Doug, Chaplain

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