Monday, March 14, 2011

Contagious.


I've been thinking a lot about attitudes lately. Growing up, I could never leave the house without my mom saying, "Attitude is everything!"

When I was younger it drove me crazy. Probably because I had a bad attitude. Now, it means the world to me. I get it. And I see it.

Some people are absolutely ruined by their attitudes. They may have great intentions, great talents, and great potential... but they completely undermine their own goodness with a really bad attitude. That bad attitude may be one of nagging, constant negativity, pessimism, complaining, apathy, arrogance, pride, etc. But whatever it is, it stinks. It's a turn-off. And it's deteriorating.

Some people, on the other hand, are enhanced by their attitudes. They may not have the greatest talent or be the smartest, but they have such a great, positive attitude that can do nothing but push them up. That good attitude may look like servanthood, humility, respect, meekness, joyfulness, hopefulness, optimism, thankfulness, enthusiasm, perseverance. Those things are live-giving. They make a beautiful person even more beautiful. They build up. They breathe life into us.

But either way, whether your is ruining or enhancing, it's contagious. There's nothing like being around a person who complains every other sentence then later finding myself complaining a whole lot more than I normally do. Or being around someone who will always find the negative, and finding myself being discouraged and critical of every situation around me. Or being around someone who has little to no respect for someone else and finding myself developing the same thoughts and responses toward that person.

And on the other side of that, there is absolutely nothing like being around someone whose attitude just makes you a better person.

Thinking about all of this has really made me look at myself and my own heart and ask myself what kind of attitude I display. Do people view me as a complainer? A pessimist? A Debbie Downer? Or am I encouraging, humble, positive, and life-giving?

I know which one I want to be, which one I should be. But how? How do you constantly maintain a positive attitude? How do you keep your attitude right?

And that's where this scripture has just been planted and stuck in my mind and heart lately.


That's how. By following the example Jesus lived. By putting others above myself. But humbling myself before God and other people. By denying myself and dying to my own selfish ambitions in order to look to the interests of others. 

If I'm looking at the needs of others, I'll be way too busy to complain about the little things in my life. If I'm taking on the nature of a servant, there will be no room for arrogance or conceit. If I keep my focus on Jesus, I can't help but to be positive and thankful and joyful. 

My attitude is contagious. Yours is too.

Let's make sure the one we have is one worth catching. And let's press on to live out an attitude that reflects the one Jesus himself lived out as our perfect example.


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