It’s not the challenges in life that make us who we are; it’s how we deal with them that reveals our true character. If we want to know who we really are inside, just wait until we are under pressure, facing a challenge or stressed. This is when our real attitude comes to the surface.
Before we were saved, many of us had attitudes and even untrained tongues that clearly revealed a negative or judgmental opinion towards others. And although we’ve made many changes in our lives now, the devil continues to work on us and arrange situations to arise unexpectedly just so that we will fall back into our old habits.
The bad attitudes that are hidden inside us are the remains of things in our lives that still need to be dealt with—such as judging others, putting ourselves above others, closed-minded to the needs and hurts of others, and even unforgiveness. For the most part, we can protect ourselves from letting any of these attitudes slip out, but under pressure, our mouth often reflects the things in our heart that still need to be changed.
How do we change the attitudes that are buried deep within us before the devil arranges for us to show the world?
First, we have to be honest with ourselves. We know what we used to be and we know who we are now in Christ. So we need to recognize that we still have a problem with our attitude. For example, we don’t know why, but seeing the homeless on the street just makes us angry. “Get a job!” We have no compassion towards them because of old attitudes, but these are not the attitudes of Jesus. Our Lord would have compassion towards them and would want to help.
- Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.—Matthew 7:1-2
Secondly, we need to go to God in prayer and ask Him to help us change our bad attitudes. God does not want us to keep these bad attitudes buried because the devil will use them to hurt our testimony of Jesus and to mock God. Each time a bad attitude rises up, God’s Spirit in us will check us and make us aware that we need to change it, but the pressure of the circumstances can often take priority, and before we know it, we’ve fallen into our old ways again. This is why we need to ask our Heavenly Father for help to get rid of them, and then trust His leading.
- My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.—Proverbs 23:26
Thirdly, the Scriptures give us all the advice we need to live life as we should, and so we must constantly read and study the Bible to get its truth deep into our heart. As we study, God’s Spirit teaches us, and as we learn our heart fills up with the truth. It’s our commitment to this truth that pushes all the bad habits and ideas out as it takes up residence in our heart and mind.
- This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.—Joshua 1:8
Through reading the Bible, praying and worshiping God, we get closer to the heart of God. We become stronger in the knowledge and wisdom of God, and His Spirit gives us the power and the ability to be obedient. Then, when the temptation comes to display a bad attitude, we will be able to resist it and not give in to the devil.
- Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.—James 4:7
Bad habits are not easy to break, but when God’s word is alive in us, and when we are committed to God, our own determination to follow Jesus and to serve God with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, will destroy the bad habits and replace them with good ones.
- You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”—Luke 10:27
We don’t walk in the shoes of others, and we don’t know the challenges they have. Therefore, we have no right to look down on them with a bad attitude or judge them because we feel they need it. Instead, we need to let the fruits of the Spirit become our character so that our natural responses to others is a godly one.
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.—Galatians 5:22-23
Some people are further ahead of us on the path of life, and others are far behind us. But the point is, we are all on that same path. Christians are brothers and sisters in the Lord, and we are supposed to support and encourage each other and let our Heavenly Father be the one who judges.
- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.—Colossians 3:16
If the people of the world see us as being no different from them because of our bad attitude, they won’t want to become a Christian because they’ll see us as hypocrites. But if they see compassion, forgiveness, and a non-judgmental attitude, and they hear kind words spoken, they will see the testimony of Christ.
We must always remember that we once belonged to the world because of our sin and that we didn’t deserve to be saved; it was the love of God that looked beyond our sin and made us who we are now. So, we need to extend that same love and attitude to others in everything we say and do.
- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.—Romans 3:23
If Jesus can love us enough to die for us, then we must get rid of our bad habits and attitudes and let His love and grace flow through us. We need to be more like Jesus. What better way for us to show our gratitude to God for our salvation than to open our arms and love people with the same attitude as Jesus?
- Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.—Philippians 2:1-4
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Thanks for stopping by and have a really great day! … ronnie