Change Your Attitude

rainbowContinued from here.

In my last blog entry, I talked about how I have been complaining about an area of my life that I am tired of dealing with. I have made the decision to stop complaining, even though the circumstances have gotten worse rather than better. But watching my mouth is not enough – I also need to change my attitude.

I previously shared that I am inspired by Vicktor Frankl, who managed to keep a positive attitude in a concentration camp. The situation I am frustrated with is nowhere near the level of intensity of what Frankl dealt with. If he could keep a positive attitude there, then God can certainly equip me for a positive attitude here.

One concept I have been pondering to help me choose a better attitude is that I am a servant of God. A servant doesn’t get to tell the master what he wants to do. The master tells the servant what to do, and the servant does it, whether he likes it or not. So, I’m trying to keep the attitude that if God wants me metaphorically cleaning latrines, then that’s what the Master has called me to do. It’s a job that needs to be done, the Master has chosen me as His servant to do it, and so I need to do it with a positive attitude. Whether or not I like the assignment is not relevant. I cannot call God my LORD and refuse to submit to His authority.

As I have previously shared, submitting to authority is not my strength. In my flesh, I don’t want to do it at all, and if I do, the authority better be trustworthy. This particular situation involves my struggles with earthly authority that I do not trust. However, I do trust God, and He’s my Master. Thus, until He tells me the latrines are clean enough to stop, I need to keep doing the assignment He has given me, not because I like the earthly authority but because I trust my LORD.

Continued here.

[Graphic: Cartoon of a head shot of Grace looking at a rainbow over her head. Courtesy Bitmoji.]

Remember Whose You Are

u_get_meContinued from here.

The second perspective-shifting message I received during my bizarre spiritual experience was that I need to remember WHOSE I am. I belong to God. Thus, my behavior needs to be directed by God, not by my body, emotions, troubles, or anything else.

Vicktor Frankl, who was imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp, shared these wise words:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Vicktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

This is the same thing that Paul tells us about our ability to choose our thoughts:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” ~ Phil. 4:8

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” ~ 2 Cor. 10:5

While it is completely human and understandable for me to become fixated on my physical or emotional discomfort, that’s not living the righteous life that God wants for us. God has equipped us with the power to choose, so when I choose to allow my body or emotions to drive my thoughts, it’s a choice. I am choosing a bad attitude. And, let’s face it, whenever we are in discomfort or pain, our natural setting is going to be choosing a bad attitude.

If Vicktor Frankl could choose a positive attitude in a concentration camp, then I can choose a positive attitude while dealing with hives. If Paul and Silas could choose a good attitude after being severely flogged and imprisoned, then I can choose to focus on God rather than my problems, no matter how severe they are. I’m not going to do this, though, unless I remember whose I am.

I am not my own: I am God’s. I was bought at a price, and I need to behave like someone who belongs to God, even when I don’t feel like it.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace with her hands over her heart, saying, “U get me.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]