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In life there may be times where the only thing you control is your attitude. Ever hear a teacher tell a kid in school,”You have a bad attitude.”?
That is like a badge of honor for kids sometimes. Something is wrong with the kid if he doesn’t respect the school and learning. Moving forward, a rebellious kid who doesn’t want to study, will get bad grades and not likely do well in college or even go.
The same holds true for someone with a bad attitude towards goodness and love in God. If you don’t want to be good or respect God, the future is bleak. God is used to disrespect and will wait with wide open arms for you to return, but it isn’t prudent to make God wait on you to get your act together later if you can do so now. And it isn’t helpful to people around you if you aren’t consistently acting out of love and goodness.
Life has a way of going great one moment then falling totally apart for an extended period of time. One could get into an auto accident. You could go to jail for something you didn’t do (unlikely but does happen). You could get hit by a meteor (even more unlikely, but you get what I mean). Life is uncertain and unfair, but this does not mean God doesn’t exist or doesn’t care about your circumstances.
I have said in the past that God is unfair. Not everyone gets treated the same. But He is unfair in that he is more generous than we deserve. Even people who have it bad now will likely be blessed with more in Heaven.
“But many who are now first will be last, and many who are now last will be first.”
Mark 10:31 (GNT).
This warns those of us rich in resources now that we should help the poor more and that we should be circumspect with time management.
15 “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like ignorant people, but like wise people. 16 Make good use of every opportunity you have, because these are evil days.”
Ephesians 5:15-16 (GNT).
If we’re going to Heaven where everything is going to be awesome, why get so caught up in acquiring stuff selfishly now? We’re to be servants of all, not for God to grant our every whim now. So we should be ready to always do humble duties, and donate as much as we can to the poor, always being ready to work to help others’ lives out. If we have food, water, and shelter – what more do we need? The payoff is that if we do serve everyone we can now, in the next life, God really will grant our greatest desires that align with His will so we’re satisfied beyond measure.
10 “Nor should you be called ‘Leader,’ because your one and only leader is the Messiah. 11 The greatest one among you must be your servant. 12 Whoever makes himself great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be made great.”
Matthew 23:10-12 (GNT).
29 “So don’t be all upset, always concerned about what you will eat and drink. 30 (For the pagans of this world are always concerned about all these things.) Your Father knows that you need these things. 31 Instead, be concerned with his Kingdom, and he will provide you with these things.32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom. 33 Sell all your belongings and give the money to the poor. Provide for yourselves purses that don’t wear out, and save your riches in heaven, where they will never decrease, because no thief can get to them, and no moth can destroy them. 34 For your heart will always be where your riches are.35 “Be ready for whatever comes, dressed for action and with your lamps lit, 36 like servants who are waiting for their master to come back from a wedding feast. When he comes and knocks, they will open the door for him at once. 37 How happy are those servants whose master finds them awake and ready when he returns! I tell you, he will take off his coat, have them sit down, and will wait on them. 38 How happy they are if he finds them ready, even if he should come at midnight or even later! 39 And you can be sure that if the owner of a house knew the time when the thief would come, he would not let the thief break into his house. 40 And you, too, must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him.”
Luke 12:29-40 (GNT).
If we have good times, we should praise God and help others. When we’re down and out and we’re in troubled times, we should praise God too. That is where you control your attitude. God is the reason for all good in this world and the next. He should always be praised! It respects God to praise him no matter what happens in this fallen world because the next world will make everything better.
I even tell God: Whether you lift me up or throw me down, let Your will be done. I’m okay with God taking me down a notch or two if it brings him Glory. I suffix that prayer with,”Lead me not into hard testing.” Because I’m not asking for it. I’m not asking for hard times, but if they come, we should still praise God.
Scripture talks about it being very hard to tame the tongue. But the tongue is easy to tame compared with the mind. Can you always think good blessings for others? It’s a challenge to do so at all times. Do you ever think insults on people casually? That can be a sin.
I can’t give much advice on how to practice getting rid of sinful thoughts or what qualifies, but if you practice prayer without ceasing while keeping a good attitude, it will change you for the better. Eventually when sinful thoughts do pop up, you can identify and reject them.
5 “we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 (GNT).
Remember the Serenity Prayer:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.”