Striving for an A+ in Attitude and Action
It’s easy to want to be a good person. It’s easy to have big goals and to want to make things happen but unless our heart and actions are focused in the right place we cannot become the people God destined us to be or make the moves we have to in order to progress. We all know the saying “your attitude and actions determine your altitude” or maybe you’ve come across something similar but what does it really mean? Can we, despite what life throws at us stay encouraged and joy-filled even in circumstances that may lead us to be angry, disheartened and negative?
As God’s own, in every situation we encounter we need to get into the good practice of taking a moment to internally ask ourselves the all-important question: What would Jesus do? This admittedly might sound like a daunting challenge and for most of us who want to take the path of least resistance in our pursuit to become better versions of ourselves or to fulfill the plans set out before us does not seem like the kind of question we want to face. It requires measuring ourselves against the highest of standards. Fortunately, it is not a rhetorical question without an answer. In fact, for each of us becoming more like Jesus is one of the cornerstones of being Christ’s followers. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”, verse 20 continues, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ…”
We are given a glimpse into Jesus’ thoughts, actions and relations with people and in situations which tell us about His character. Moreover, if that is not enough God gives us examples of “ordinary” people who we read about today like Hannah, Joshua, Ruth, Timothy, and Mary the mother of Jesus who despite what they faced had the right attitude and obedience to God.
So, when we relook at the challenge from a different perspective we start to see it shift from daunting to exciting. Our daily aim becomes to be more like Jesus – even in the smallest of ways, living up to His envisioned Christ-like nature reflected in our attitudes and actions as we navigate through life and our goals. We know we can learn the right characteristics, attitudes, and behaviors like patience, self-control, faithfulness, joy and kindness required to win because Jesus is the scorecard to which we measure ourselves against.
Philippians 4:8-9 in the Message version reads… “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling and gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not ugly, things to praise, not to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.
The beauty in this passage shows us is if we strive to be who God wants us to be – being intentional about what we choose to think about, the words we speak and how we choose to act – we will gradually grow closer to the displaying the image of Christ.
The next time you find yourself in a situation where you’d usually lash out, be impatient, or want to act in a way that reflects an action/attitude that wouldn’t be pleasing to God use these 7 ways to help you strive for that A+
Guard your mind, heart, and spirit – Actions and attitudes are rooted in these so equip yourself with scripture. Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight O Lord, my rock, and Redeemer.”
Guard your circle and environment – Surround yourself with positive influences.
Grow through what you go through – Forgive yourself to progress yourself.
Pray about it – Be disciplined in prayer but follow it up with action.
Practice patience – Be kind to yourself and others, we all make mistakes and won’t always get things right the first time around.
Practice the pause and check yourself – Act as if what you do, makes an impact because it does.
Perspective is key – Remember: Becoming like Jesus is an exciting not daunting challenge.
Staff Writer at Christian En Vogue
Joy Sibanyoni is a self-proclaimed Jesus girl from South Africa. Daughter of the only true King, she lives for spreading the message of God's grace and love. She's a university graduate and leader of Project Any Girl focused on sharing and celebrating real inspirational life stories. A few of her favorite things are reading, traveling, good food and taking long naps on any day!
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