Our decisions, the way we conduct ourselves around others, and how our relationships work are determined by our attitude and outlook on life. Our attitude also affects our spiritual lives, and, in this lesson, we are going to look at some attitudes and what God would have us be.
Attitudes and Outlooks
- The pessimist expects the worst out of a situation. Everything is seen in a negative light, and no good can come out of whatever is being viewed pessimistically.
- The cynic questions motivations behind actions. The assumption exists that things are done only to somehow benefit the one performing an action.
- The fatalist believes things are inevitable. Fate has already determined the outcomes, and there is nothing that can be done to change the outcome.
These attitudes can be harmful to individuals. Even more so, these attitudes can be detrimental to groups who are trying to do God’s work. Negativity has no home in God’s house.
A Godly Attitude
Godliness and Fatalism. James 4:13-17 points out that nothing is certain. Only God knows what is coming, and James reminds us to not expect ourselves or fate to control things. God is in control, and He is open to our prayers. We should not be a fatalist because God in in control.
Godliness and Cynicism. In I Corinthians 13, Paul writes about Christian love. (Many of us are familiar with vs. 4-13 because of its use in weddings.) Verse 7 encourages us to believe the best of people, and to quickly judge others’ motivations and discount them, we are being ungodly. We should not be a cynic because of Christian love.
Godliness and Pessimism. Romans 8:28 reminds us that all things work together for good in God, and verse 31 reminds us that none can truly be against us so long as God as with us. This message is in a context of faith and hope in the preceding verses. We should not be a pessimist because of the promises we have.
What should be do then? Christians should be optimistic in their lives. James 1:2-3 talks about joy in bad circumstances. It may look strange to us, but these trials can increase strength and faith. It is not always easy to view things positively when; they may look so wrong from our point of view. Also, Romans 5:1-2 speaks to our hope in God, and verse 3 reminds us that this hope is not absent, even when times are difficult. FInally, I Peter 1:6 continues this theme of remaining positive in difficult times that prove or genuineness toward serving our God.
What is you attitude toward the congregation you belong to? What is your attitude toward the individuals that make up that group? What is your attitude regarding the future of your congregation and the relationships you will have with your brothers and sisters? A bad attitude can set up failure, but a godly attitude can help a congregation continue to grow, even in difficult times.
Psalm 43:5: “…Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” (NIV)
lesson by Tim Smelser