It is impossible to overestimate the importance of attitude. A proper, positive attitude will enable one to make the best of a difficult situation, but a poor, negative attitude will show its sourness even in the best of situations. Although many circumstances in life are often out of our control, attitude is one thing that we have complete power over. Below is a list of eight suggestions, with some related Scriptures to reflect upon, for improving our attitudes as Christians.
1. Since you are not perfect, tell yourself over and over that you would not fit into a "perfect" congregation if such existed.
- Romans 3:23 - "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
- Romans 7:22,23 - "For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."
2. Instead of being disheartened by worldly members of the church, thank God for the sincere, dedicated, spiritual Christians that you are blessed to know.
- Philippians 1:3-5 - "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now."
- I Thessalonians 1:2-4 - "We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience in hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God."
3. If you are old, treat the young with the consideration you desired as a young person. If you are young, treat adults with the respect you will want when you are mature.
- Matthew 7:12 - "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."
- I Thessalonians 5:15 - "See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all."
- I Timothy 5:1,2 - "Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity."
4. When you are tempted to criticize others or retaliate over a wrong you have suffered, be sure to pray earnestly for them first. This may not change them, but it will do wonders for your attitude.
- I Thessalonians 5:16-18 - "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
- Philippians 4:5-7 - "Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
- Romans 12:17,18 - "Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men."
5. When you see a work neglected, instead of complaining, offer to help.
- Philippians 2:14 - "Do all things without complaining and disputing."
- Galatians 6:2 - "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
- Galatians 6:9,10 - "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."
6. Never blame others for your own failures; take responsibility.
- Galatians 6:5 - "For each one shall bear his own load."
- II Corinthians 5:10 - "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."
7. Work to grow closer to each Christian in the local congregation, and try to serve each one.
- I Cor. 12:18-20 - "But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body."
- John 13:35 - "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
8. When problems arise in the local congregation, ask yourself: "Am I part of the problem, part of the solution, or merely a critical spectator?"
- Galatians 6:1 - "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted."
If we concentrate daily on improving and maintaining proper attitudes, we will have the greatest influence for good in both the church and the world.