I remember my mom saying to one of us six kids when we were young and obviously unhappy about something, “Get a smile on your face.” When I became a mom I also said those words. Perhaps you have said them as well or something similar. I also remember my dad saying “Straighten up!” to any child who seemed sullen for no reason. Again, as a mom, I’ve said those words. Both admonitions are attempts to get children to have a better attitude. But, of all the things my parents said to me to convince me to behave in a better way, it was the things they didn’t say that influenced me the most. It was how they acted in times of adversity. I’m sure you have heard the challenge to act your way into a better way of thinking. Many, many times I witnessed my parents receive bad news or encounter unpleasant circumstances and still approach the situation with a positive spirit and a God-honoring attitude. Life is like a roller coaster ride. As soon as your stomach is back in place and the ride is fun, the next dip occurs. How can we possibly be asked to keep a good attitude when life is so uncertain? And what does a good attitude mean anyway? An attitude is a term that refers to our likes and dislikes for a person, behavior, or event. Attitudes can be positive, negative or neutral. In children, the attitude in itself doesn’t appear to be the problem; it’s the behavior the attitude invokes that causes the problem. Your child may not like green beans and that’s fine, but he can’t throw them against the wall (at least, I hope he doesn’t do that!) But, here’s what should occur as we mature. God doesn’t just want our behavior to change; He wants our heart to change as well. It isn’t good enough to just “act right” God wants us to “think right.” Peter plainly tells usin I Peter 4 that Jesus went through everything we could ever go through. I know it’s hard to imagine Jesus going through the trials us moms go through. First of all, he never sat up and worried about a sick child. Wait, what about Lazarus? But, did he never have to worry about putting food on the table when money is short? Oh yeah, he did feed 5000 of his closest friends with nothing more than a few fish and bread. But he never faced the challenges of dealing with his kids’ different personalities. No, but he did have twelve very unique personalities chosen to follow him and lead others to him. Life is not easy, but with a few attitude adjustments, life will not only be more enjoyable, you will be able to show others how God can work in your life. Give yourself an attitude check. Yell at the top of your lungs, “Attitude check!” and then answer yourself with a loud, “I feel great, oh, I feel so great!” And mean it!
Thought for the Day
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.