Everyone has an attitude whether it’s good or bad. Your attitude is your outlook and how you behave toward others. It can be one of superiority or arrogance or it can be humble and unassuming. Which one do you have?
Of course, we probably all want to exhibit a good attitude that is accepting of others and only thinks the best of everyone, but in reality, this just isn’t so.
So what can we, as born-again, spirit-filled, Bible-believing Christians, do to change a bad attitude into a good one that shows forth the goodness of God?
First of all, we need to identify just what bad attitudes are and then we can work on how to change them. Let’s look at some scriptures and see what God has to say.
Proverbs 13:10 (KJV) 10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
James 3:16 (KJV) 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
If you notice, contentions and strife come from pride. What, you say – I’m not in pride! Well, let me give you a definition of pride: pride is self-centeredness! That means when you’re only thinking of yourself, that’s pride, whether it manifests itself in arrogance or in shyness, it’s still self-centeredness because you are the focus of your attention. Let me give you some examples:
Anytime you’re focused on impressing people with how wonderful you are, that’s pride. When you always have to have your way, having to be the one who is right, that’s pride.
Then on the other hand, shyness is pride because a shy person is so focused on what others think of them and always concerned about saying the right thing so they don’t look stupid. That’s pride because it’s focusing on yourself – self-centeredness.
So what’s the problem with pride? The Word says that ONLY with pride comes contention – that means arguing, fighting, saying things that you’ll regret, holding grudges, etc. This is bad, bad, bad! And here’s the bottom line about pride: God hates it!
James 4:6 (KJV) 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
1 Peter 5:5b (KJV) 5 … for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
The word resist means to actively fight against! Who wants God to actively fight against them! It’s the humble that God gives grace to! Isn’t that what we all want?
Just a side note: humility isn’t self-abasement. It’s thinking of yourself the way God says you are in His Word.
So, how do we keep pride at bay? First all, we’re going to have to deal with pride all throughout our Christian walk because the devil is always looking for an opening into our lives. Don’t give it to him. Just like taking offense is an inroad the enemy uses to trap us, so is pride.
Ask yourself why you get so angry when someone doesn’t agree with you. Why do you care so much about what people are thinking of you [shy people]? It’s your self-centeredness that always wants to have its own way or else! This is a sure way to cut yourself off from the Lord’s help when you desperately need it.
So here’s the good news: we can’t change everybody around us to do what we want because that’s control and control is witchcraft. But we can change ourselves and how we respond to others in all kinds of situations: our spouse, children, family members, co-workers, friends, etc. We can yield to the fruit of self-control which is in us. Plus we can practice the vocabulary of silence by keeping our mouths shut ’til we can trust what will come out. It’s hard to fight with someone who won’t speak or fight back!
And here’s another thing. You can’t just rebuke pride and never have to deal with it again. Pride is part of your carnal, fleshy self – governed by your five physical senses. The way you corral the flesh and harness your emotions is to renew your mind with the Word of God which changes your attitude almost effortlessly because you’ll be focused on God and wanting to be pleasing to Him.
Remember, in the imitable words of that sweet beagle Snoopy: nobody has to like you and you don’t have to care! The only One you should be out to please is God and that takes the pressure off. God loves us in spite of ourselves and that should be more than enough.
Proverbs 16:7 (KJV) 7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Romans 12:2 (KJV) 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Ephesians 4:23 (KJV) 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
1 Corinthians 3:3 (KJV) 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1 Corinthians 3:3 (AMP) 3 For you are still [unspiritual, having the nature] of the flesh [under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men?
Proverbs 29:25 (AMP) 25 The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.