Other than our relationship with God, our attitudes determine our success or failure in life more than anything else.
Attitudes run in groups. Families have certain attitudes. Businesses have attitudes, too. Even some churches have a distinct attitude.
Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Being conformed to the world in our thinking means our orientation is identical to how the world thinks.
But Paul says we need to think like God thinks. We must conform to biblical ways of thinking. When we do, our lives will be transformed.
So, do you have a godly attitude or a worldly attitude? That’s the question each of us must answer. Here are five truths about attitudes:
Attitudes are a choice. Viktor Frankl was a Nazi prisoner at Auschwitz during World War II. The Nazis killed his family and put him into forced labor in a concentration camp—worse circumstances than any of us have ever experienced.
But Frankl chose to suffer with dignity. He said, “Regardless of what the Nazis do to me, I will never hate one of them.” He survived the camp and went on to become a powerful motivational speaker. They could not destroy his positive attitude.
Attitudes are not caused by people or circumstances. Adam and Eve lived in perfect paradise but had ungrateful, rebellious attitudes. On the other hand, David praised God and wrote worshipful Psalms while Saul was trying to kill him.
Many people are convinced they would have better attitudes with improved circumstances. But attitudes are a choice. You can’t blame them on your reality.
Happiness is a chosen attitude, not a state of being. Happiness can’t be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. We choose it. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.
In fact, I know people who come from terrible backgrounds but are some of the most joyful people around. Like Viktor Frankl, they have chosen happiness.
God rewards good attitudes and disciplines bad ones. Good parents know attitudes turn into behavior, so disciplining a bad attitude prevents a bad behavior from taking place.
The Lord loves us too much not to fight for us when we’re heading the wrong way, so He doesn’t wait until we act out. By disciplining a bad attitude, he prevents us from eventually heading in the wrong direction.
That leads to the final truth: Good attitudes lead to success, and bad attitudes precede failure. Your attitudes predict what’s going to happen in your life. James 4:10 says God will lift us up once we humble ourselves. That means God may only be waiting for humility—an attitude change—before He blesses us.
How are you oriented toward the world? Do you approach your circumstances with a bad attitude or a good one?
Examine yourself. If your attitude is worldly and negative, ask God to help change your attitude into one that is godly and positive. Then make a choice. Choose a good attitude. Choose happiness and joy. Do not be conformed to this world’s way of thinking, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.