Attitudes & Actions
For as he thinketh within himself, so is he.
What is your attitude toward sin? Toward recreation? Toward trials? Toward false teaching? Toward immodesty? Toward opportunity? Toward money? Toward marriage? Toward salvation?
Whatever your attitude is toward the categories listed above, it is logical to conclude you will act upon your attitude. It may be right or it may be wrong, but it will be an action based upon attitude. The reason is, attitude is “the angle of approach.” Like an aircraft when landing, our attitudes toward life and its happenings depend upon our “angle of approach.” Attitude is the way we choose to think about things. It causes us to act and behave in certain ways. Attitudes are neither innate nor accidental. They are learned, acquired, and absorbed, which means our attitudes can be changed.
The only sure way to know if an attitude is proper is to examine it in view of scripture. In some translations, you will find the word “attitude,” but in most instances the word “mind” is used. However, what you will find are attitudes illustrated throughout the book. The Bible is full of them. Some were pleasing to God and others were rebuked by God. You will find self-pity, love, courage, bitterness, anger, hope, kindness, and rebellion, just to name a few. It is not hard to distinguish between a proper attitude and an ungodly attitude. You can view a list of contrasts as in Galatians 5:19-24 or a list like the one in Matthew 15:18-20 and be able to determine the attitude similar to the one you currently have, the ones which you need to avoid, and the attitude you need to have. Philippians 4:8 provides a great list of good “thinking” attitudes.
If your attitudes and actions are not in tune with what makes for a good heart and good example, then consider Jeremiah 18. The prophet speaks of a potter working with apiece of “marred” clay: “...he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it” (v. 4). What you and I cannot do to mold our attitudes, the great Potter can! All we need to do is be a cooperative piece of clay. Daily letting the Potter mold us, we become shaped into an honorable vessel (2 Timothy 2:20), useful in the house of God. Without question, we will see a change in heart produce a change in action. Consider below the words Charles Swindall gave about attitude:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important that facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, tan successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearances, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding that attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes.