While writing from a prison cell in Rome, the apostle Paul wrote about the attitude a Christian should have: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27). He’s telling us that no matter what unexpected disruptions, frustrations, or difficulties come our way, we are to respond with a Christ-like attitude. Paul later writes, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:5). He also encourages us in Ephesians 5:1 to be “imitators of Christ as dearly beloved children.” As children love to imitate what they see and repeat what they hear; we also are charged to imitate and model Christ’s behavior and to be clear reflections of the Lord (Matthew 5:16)
So, that means if someone upsets us, we have a bad day, we experience a disruption to our day, or we are hurt by someone, we are to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. I’m still learning how to do this myself. But, we are commanded to imitate and model Christ’s behavior and be clear reflections of the Lord. Does that mean we throw a temper tantrum? Does that mean we swear? Does that mean we develop an attitude and speak negatively? “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
God doesn’t say we won’t have bad days or that things will always go our way, but He is watching how we react to those bad days and bad times. Do we get sarcastic and run to social media and post “snarky” things so others that may have upset us see it? Do we try to instigate an uprising? We are actually to lift our problems up to Christ and pray for guidance and pray for an “attitude” worthy of Christ. Christ didn’t throw insults to those around Him that were persecuting Him, He didn’t have an attitude unworthy because Jesus’ attitude was never to become defensive, discouraged, or depressed because His goal was to please the Father rather than to achieve His own agenda. In the midst of trials, He was patient. In the midst of suffering, He was hopeful. In the midst of blessing, He was humble. Even in the midst of ridicule, abuse, and hostility, He “made no threats .
Bring your attitudes into obedience to God’s Word. Apply discipline to your thought life — submit your thoughts to those of Christ’s. A good attitude is a matter of faith, disregarding your feelings, with a determination to embrace God’s outlook and disposition. 2 Corinthians 10:5 “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things.”
I am going to start to use these verses to put my attitude “in check”. To allow God to be my focus and to go to Him if I have a bad day or someone upsets me or if I feel myself having a bad attitude. How about you?