Monday, November 19, 2018
Colossians 3:15-17 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Author John Maxwell said, “The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.”
The Apostle Paul, writing to the people who made up the church at Colossae, describes thanksgiving as originating in our heart, resulting in thankful activity in our lives. In other words, the activity of thanksgiving flows out of the attitude of our heart.
Hearts that are ruled by Christ are at peace, and they produce thanksgiving even when all around us is unpeaceful. An attitude of thanksgiving will be present in a person who is ruled by Christ and allowing the word of Christ to dwell in them.
Attitudes are a choice. I know, sometimes circumstances don’t seem to give us a choice, but the choice is always there. We justify our attitudes by blaming the circumstances, when actually we need to blame our own choices.
Chuck Swindoll is one of my favorite preachers. His statement about attitude is powerful.
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”
But, as we mentioned last Friday, our choice to have a thankful attitude is strongly influenced by the level of trust we have in God. Many of us allow our pride rather than God’s character and control to dictate our attitudes.
A young woman who won a coveted award smiled when her mother said, “I was praying you would get it.” “Well, thank you,” she replied, “but I earned this by my own hard work.”
Some people feel so sure of their self-sufficiency that they resent any implication that they owe God a word of thanks for the good things that come their way. And if we won’t be thankful for the good things, we certainly won’t be thankful for the things we think are bad.
Such an attitude could be justified only if a person were able to say, “I brought myself into the world, I endowed myself with all my talents and abilities, I raised myself, taught myself all I know, and control my present and future.”
Remember the quote from John Maxwell? “The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.”
Start your grown-up life today with an attitude of thanksgiving.