Attitude is a DIFFERENCE MAKER.
Attitude is the difference between having a good day and a bad day, between speaking a kind word and a harsh word, between empathizing with someone’s actions and criticizing them for their actions. Attitude is a difference maker. Attitude however, is often overlooked as a core part of someone’s character. We consider it to be important just not that “important.” It is a reflection of who someone is but it does not reveal the true inner person. But what if it does?
In Philippians 4:8, the Apostle Paul reminds us how attitude determines character. “Finally, brother 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.”
Philippians 4:8 is about attitude, “think about such things.”It is also about character. We will often describe someone’s character with words from Philippians 4:8. We might say someone is of “noble character,” much like Solomon does in Proverbs 31. We might “admire” someone because of his or her character. Yet, rarely, we do stop and consider how someone developed this character. Paul would argue it was by “thinking about such things.”
As a way to test our own character what if we replaced the word “whatever” with our name. For example, Jonathan is true. Jonathan is noble. Jonathan is right (I like that one J). Jonathan is pure. Jonathan is lovely. Jonathan is admirable. Then, what if we asked the question, “How true are those statements? When is the last time someone described us like that?
The truth is simple: attitude determines character. We become what we think about. If we are constantly being negative and critical then we will become a negative and critical person. If, however, we think about what is lovely and noble we will become a lovely and noble person. The only TRUE & REAL WAY to do this is to think about Jesus. Jesus is the only name we can replace the word “whatever” with and the verse remain true. As we set our minds on who He is and on the Word He has spoken, we will become more like Him. There are many things in our life that we cannot control but attitude and character is one of them. If we change our attitude we can also change our character.
Grace & Peace,
Pastor Jonathan & Sara