Monday, April 6, 2009

Circumstances versus Attitude

Change your attitude to change the world - for better or worse.

Contentment and joy in someone’s life never comes from their circumstances.
Think about it.
Being rich and independently wealthy does not guarantee either happiness or unhappiness.
The perfect job or lack of a job at all does not guarantee either satisfaction and happiness or dissatisfaction.
The most agreeable, faithful, and attractive spouse does not guarantee satisfaction or contentment in a marriage.
Healthy, intelligent, obedient children do not guarantee an appreciative or loving parent.

NOTHING is about your circumstances.
EVERYTHING is about your attitude.

Originally, Adam and Eve lived in a perfect Garden where neither sin nor death was allowed. Then sin entered in, and the whole of creation fell from grace with Adam and Eve. Eve was beguiled by the serpent because she became discontent or bored with her circumstances. Circumstantially speaking, Eve had it all, but it wasn’t enough. She wanted more. Lucifer really had it all. He was the highest of the angels, good looking, and lived in a perfect place. His circumstances were not enough to keep him happy and satisfied.

Lucifer, Adam, and Eve all had something in common. They had a bad attitude. They didn’t enjoy what they had.

For anyone to enjoy life, they must first look at life as a gift from God of immeasurable value.
God created you.
God is with you.
God has a plan for your good.
God has a perfect and eternal future for His children with Him.

A person with a negative attitude is probably the most difficult person in the world with which to fellowship. They have a black cloud following them around that can be so overwhelming that it seems to obstruct YOUR breathing just having to be near them. I don’t know what you can do for them except pray for them and avoid them like the plague. Don’t confuse those going through grief with negative people. Do not expect them to shrug off their grief. Grief and loss happen, and the bereaved must have their time to mourn before they can adjust and move forward with their lives. There is a danger of letting grief redefine one’s life in the negative mold, so when you face grief or loss personally you do have to be careful. Turn it over to God immediately, and He will lead you through.

A person with a positive attitude is a joy to be around for most people. That person just gets up in the morning and plans to face whatever the day brings with a good attitude. I have read that survivors of concentration camps in WWII tried to face each day with a positive attitude. I don’t know what they were ‘positive’ about, but that was how they got through it. I am sure those with the best attitude were able to encourage those around them as well.

Now, we don’t face the dire circumstances of the those in concentration camps, but many today are facing some dire circumstances. It may be an illness in the family. It may be grief. It may be impending financial disaster, or financial disaster may have already struck.

No matter what you are facing, here is what you need to do. Just get up in the morning and live your life. When you have that first cup of coffee or soda pop, enjoy it. That coffee may come from Starbucks, or it may be warmed over from last night in your microwave. It doesn’t matter. Just enjoy it. If you have breakfast, chew slowly and enjoy what you have to eat. If you have a job, be thankful for it, and do your best to do a good job. If you don’t like your job, it probably isn’t permanent anyway. Ask God for something better or more to your liking, but don’t let yourself be made miserable by your current job.

It is all about your attitude. If you cannot be satisfied in your current situation and circumstances, then you will not be able to enjoy or be satisfied in whatever circumstance you may find yourself in the future.

A good attitude will help you think more clearly. If you are in a situation or a relationship that you are questioning, then a better attitude is your first priority. You cannot properly assess a situation from a negative view point.

A positive attitude doesn’t look back. It looks forward toward the prize.
A positive attitude runs the race of the day, knowing sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
A positive attitude doesn’t measure its success by those around him or her. It just says, ‘Did I do better today than I did yesterday?’

Circumstances are usually totally beyond your control. Did you have anything to do with the current global financial crisis? I didn’t think so.

Your attitude, on the other hand, belongs to you. People seem to either view each day as a gift from God, or a curse and burden they must carry. They don’t want to die; they just don’t see any joy in living.

Today is a good day to evaluate your attitude. On a scale of one to ten how positive or negative are you? Are you satisfied where you are? Are you ready to make the attitude change that will give you a more satisfying life?

If you are plagued with a negative attitude, you may want to ask yourself why you are negative. Do you have real reasons to be negative? Has life been unfair? If that is the case, then think about this. Many people have very real reasons to be negative in their thinking and actions. But, having a reason to be negative does not require that someone live with a negative mindset. AND, no matter how valid a reason for constant negative thinking, it does nothing to propel anyone to a better future. To stick with a negative attitude is to stay in a downward spiral leading to despair and hurting many others on the way.

Everyone’s attitude, including mine and yours, can be improved.
It starts with thanking God when you go to bed at night and when you get up in the morning.
Be obedient to God because you love Him, want to please Him, and want that ‘well done’ that He gives to good and faithful servants.
And, just do your job(s) to the best of your ability, starting with your responsibility to God and your family.

In improving your attitude you will improve your own life and level of satisfaction. You will also improve the lives of your family and those around you.

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