I once heard the story of three religious leaders who were riding in a car together, going to a convention. One was a Hindu priest, another a Jewish rabbi, and the other was a complaining, griping Christian preacher. The car broke down on a country road, and they had to go to a farmhouse to stay the night. The farmer was kind enough to allow them to stay, but he only had enough room for two of them in the house. The other one would have to stay in the barn.
The rabbi said he would stay in the barn. A short while later there was a knock on the door; it was the rabbi saying that we would have to do something different. There were pigs in the barn and his religion forbids him to stay out there.
So, the Hindu priest said he would sleep in the barn, but a little while later there was a knock on the door; it was the priest. He said that there were cows out there and his religion also would not allow him to stay out there.
The griping, complaining Christian preacher said he would go out there. Getting his stuff, he was griping as he went to the barn. A short while later there was a knock on the door… it was the cow and the pig.
Let’s face it, nobody likes to be around griping, complaining people. You know the type. These are people who have what I call a “Lazarus ‘tude” – “behold it stinketh.” It’s like the 8th day of a 7-day deodorant – it stinks. These are the people whom you see in the grocery store, and you decide to go down a different aisle.
There are many choices that we make in life, but one of the main choices we make is the attitude we have. Yes, we make that choice. One of my favorite chapters in God’s Word is Psalms 100.
1 Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
Notice the choices I must make. At least six different times this Psalm lists things which I must do. I am the one who makes the joyful shout. It is I who serves and comes to Him in verse two. We control the way we enter His gates and whether we will be thankful and bless Him.
Give me an attitude like David had about that 9 foot, 400 lb. giant named Goliath. David’s brothers thought the giant was too big to hit, but David knew that Goliath was too big to miss, with God’s help.
Give me an attitude like Paul…
Rom 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
I once heard a preacher say that he believes life is 10% what we face and 90% how we face it. If that is true, how can we have a great attitude? If my attitude is bad, then I need to check the inside, because my attitude is an inside job. Scripture states that the words I speak are a reflection of what is on the inside (Matthew 12:34-35). In my first computer class in college, the professor came in and wrote GIGO on the board and told us to learn it. It stood for “garbage in garbage out.” Don’t expect anything to come out that has not been put in.
Here are two things we can do to help us have the right attitude. Today we need to ask the Holy Spirit to touch our mind (this is a work that God does). Because we are being bombarded with so much negative, it is almost impossible for us to have the attitude we need to have on our own. We need a touch in our mind that only God can give (Romans 12:2). And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Secondly, we must change what we are listening to and thinking about. Always remember that your dwelling place will be your living place. Philippians 4:8, “Finally brethren, whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy—meditate on these. This do, and the God of peace will be with you.” e 6 Colorfu