Some time ago, the Ashville, North Carolina’s tourism board ran an advertisement campaign that “Altitude affects attitude.” The idea is that going higher in the mountains makes us feel better. Conversely, in our spiritual lives, our attitude affects our altitude. It affects and reflects how high our aspirations climb. It is a powerful thing, and it is something over which we have complete control. It is surprising what we can do and what we can become when we set our minds to it.
In I Peter 1:15-16, we are called to reflect God’s holiness just as His people were called in the book of Leviticus. It is a call to change our ways of thinking, to change our perspectives, to change our attitudes. We remind ourselves continually that we are set apart, that our actions and behaviors are to be like God’s. If that is our starting point, much in our lives will begin to change.
Practical Places to Change Our Attitudes
What kind of attitude do we have toward those we view as enemies? In Ezekiel 33:11, God tells His people that he takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Can we say the same? Our interactions with others, the lack of love we may have for those enemies, may reflect a holiness deficit in our attitudes.
What about forgiveness – not accepting God’s forgiveness, but us forgiving those that have hurt us? Isaiah 55:8-9 records God inviting His people to forgiveness, for his ways and thoughts are higher than ours. He can forgive what we find difficult to set aside, but that is the mind we are supposed to emulate. Can we lay aside the past, and align our thoughts with God’s ways? Remember, in Matthew 6:14, reminds us that God’s forgiveness hinges on our willingness to forgive others.
Finally, how do we love? God loved us and interceded on our parts when we were most farthest from Him. I John 3:1 reminds us of the nature of that love, and verse 16 reminds us of the extent of that love. Verse 18 calls on us then not to simply love by word, but also in deed and in truth. I John 4:7-8 encourages us to love, for God is love.
Attitude affects altitude. If we want to rise to God’s standard and rise to a home in Heaven, the journey starts with our attitudes. Our love, our forgiveness, our holiness – how high do we aspire to rise in these ways? We can be more like Him. Our ways and thoughts can be like His. We just have to consciously decide to change our attitudes, and let our lives reflect that change.
lesson by Tim Smelser