Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Get rid of the 'tude

As a teen, my parents were always telling me I had an attitude and that I needed to "get rid of it right now." Yeah right. I always thought, Well, I didn't have an attitude, but now that you said that I sure do.

As an adult, that attitude still creeps up sometimes often. I am unkind, I don't like to socialize, I say things I will regret, and "no body understands me." The 'tude can develop anywhere, anytime but usually when something doesn't go as I want or when people don't do what I think they should.

Then, I begin to justify it with popular phrases like: But, this is how I feel, so others can just deal with it. I'm just thinking about what is right for me. I deserve something better. I just don't feel like it today. It doesn't matter how I respond to others; I'm not having a good day.

Wait a minute. Isn't this what the world says is good and right? "Do what is right for yourself." Most talk show hosts will encourage this whether refering to building a career or getting a divorce. That can't be the wrong attitude, can it?

As I was feeling sorry for myself this weekend and developing the 'tude (multiple times, by the way), I realized how self-absorbed I can be. And contrary to the popular advice, it isn't and shouldn't be all about me. And, I'm not just talking about self-pity here; the 'tude mostly presents itself when I am thinking great and wonderful thoughts about me, myself, and I.

Now, there are definitely times that we aren't having a good day, right? That still does not mean we should develope an attitude and not treat others kindly. But guess what? Thinking selfishly about ourselves, and then acting in that manner is super easy because it's natural. It's sinful.

What's the Bible's solution for getting rid of the 'tude? Exactly opposite to the world's advice: to just quit thinking about yourself so much and think of others.

Rom. 12:10, 16 - Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Phil. 2:3-4 - 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.

Gal. 5:19-21 - Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are...jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions...of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

So, let's all do the thing that doesn't come naturally. Next time you feel the 'tude coming on (because I know I am not the only person out there that suffers this illness), confess your selfishness and conciously think of someone else in a loving, kind manner. Even take the next step and do something for someone else. It won't feel natural at first and you may want to go back to focusing on you, but read these, and other, verses.

Let's get rid of the 'tude!

1 comment:

Melissa Marsh said...

Great post, Heather. It's so easy to fall prey to what the "world" says to do.