Attitude Is Everything

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There is one thing in life that either makes or breaks us. It is something that is rooted in our experiences. It is also something that we choose. What is it? Attitude. Attitude is everything. It is our attitude that either helps us or hurts us, that either lifts us up even in the hard times, or keeps us down even in the good times. So, one of the great purposes of our daily prayer life in Christ is to first, look at our attitude toward life. If we find it is negative, if we seem to always be complaining about this or that, maybe that is why nothing goes right for us. This attitude creates a false distance between us, others, and the world. This attitude always looks at the world darkly. Yes, there is a lot of darkness in the world, but it is our attitude toward it that makes all the difference.

Paul in his letter to the Colossians tells us that in the face of the world we must, ʺPut on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called to one body. And be thankful.ʺ (Colossians 3: 12-15)

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This passage is all about attitudes, the kind of attitudes that identify true Christians. This is the template through which we can, in our private prayer, reflect on our daily attitudes toward others and the world. It is a good and reasonable question to ask of ourselves: ʺWhat is my attitude in matters of faith? In matters of the world, like justice, peace, and moral character? A joyful attitude, a humble attitude, is the attitude that animates a true disciple of Christ. Indeed, it is the attitude of God that inspires every moment and being in creation. One of negativity, complaint, arrogance, pride, or exclusiveness, is the attitude of the worldly, those who follow nothing greater than their own egos. And we can see the results of these latter attitudes all around us. That is why Paul’s inspired words here are so important for us and for the world. We must bring the attitude of a true disciple of Christ into the world with our own lives. The world needs to see and experience this attitude more and more in us. After all, it is the attitude of Christ himself. This is the attitude of redemption.

So let us put on the attitudes of love, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Let the world see and experience through us the effects of these attitudes. Let the world be challenged by these attitudes, so that it might be moved to turn away from the attitudes of negativity, accusation, hatred, and violence, for all of the right reasons. Let us show Jesus our hearts and he will open his to us. And we can open our hearts to him by developing these Christ-like attitudes in our daily lives. A follower of Christ is known by such attitudes. With these attitudes a Christian truly does bring a little light into the world, through the grace of God. Let us hide nothing from him, or from each other, and he will keep nothing from us. He poured out his all for us, let us, then, do the same for him. Let us, …ʺput on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control our hearts, the peace into which you were also called to one body. And be thankful.ʺ

Why would we, as Christians, choose any other attitude than that of thankful joy? Joy is the end for which we are made and the goal to which we are called. Joy is the happy consequence we experience when our attitude is one of ʺheartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.ʺ It is the result of our ʺ…bearing with one another and forgiving one another.ʺ Joy is the knowing attitude of our Christian faith. What else could it be? It is the result of our recognition of the unconditional, magnanimous love of God. A love we came to see and know in Christ Jesus, our Redeemer. Let us sing out our joy to the Lord with our daily attitude toward all others and to all of God’s glorious creation. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.