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Aug 11, 2013

Girl Talk // Choose Your Attitude


Games are a pretty regular part of volunteer training at our church.  This particular "game" was a relay race of sorts, requiring a team to be split in two and then to toss a fish (like a large, whole, dead, slimy fish) back and forth until each person in the line had touched it.  And if it was dropped, then the team had to start over.  Gross.

This game, I think, was intended to be fun and reminiscent of fish markets in Seattle (the training had a fish theme), but instead, it left me feeling icky and I think I complained a lot.  I would have rather tossed a cupcake, or cotton candy, or even a tomato.  

The point is, like the fish that I was throwing, my attitude stunk.  And guess what?  Sometimes, my attitude stinks in other situations. 

It seems sad that I took me until my early twenties to really understand that I needed to learn to choose my attitude.  While I'm sure there's no one on Earth who is perfect at this all the time, I can think of a few people who are pretty darn good at it.  And you know what?  Those same people are ones that I always feel calm and joyful around.

Life isn't always happy.  Sometimes, it can be really hard.  It's hard to always follow God.  It's hard to always be positive.  It's hard to always be nice to others.  But hey, that's what we're called to.  Philippians 2:5 says "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus."

If you think about the fruits of the spirit, we're called to a spirit of gentleness and of self control.  I know from teaching that self control is hard for elementary school students.  But I also know from life that it isn't much easier for adults.  And choosing your attitude is all about self control!

Do you ever say something and immediately wish you could grab the words back?  Like, they're coming out of your mouth and your brain is saying "Nooooooooo!!!!  Why are you making noise?!" as it's happening?  I'm a pretty sarcastic and snarky person, and it's really easy for me to respond with that sarcasm in most situations.  And that tendency has put me into those "Oh my word, why am I talking right now?' situations quite a few times.  

I'm often in a situation where I audibly have to remind myself that I need to choose my attitude.  I can choose to be upset or terse or sad or sarcastic about things, or I can choose to be gentle and joyful.  And the thing is that when we choose our attitude wisely, it affects others.

Ironically, this whole post sounds like something we'd teach in children's church, but how often do we forget to "make the right choice" as adults?  Have you ever dealt with a difficult person at work...maybe someone who is complaining about something silly or demanding something unreasonable...or maybe you've been that person?  On both sides of that situation there lies a choice.  A choice about what type of attitude you're going to have and how you're going to respond.  Life is so much more pleasant when we all choose wisely, isn't it?

2 comments:

  1. I love this post - you're so right! Often before I head to my part time job (retail...less than thrilling) I'm in a bad attitude, which will affect my customers, which will affect my standing, etc etc. I need to learn to get better and immediately changing my 'tude around and be ready for the day. Great reminder!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! It's tough to work in a job you aren't thrilled about, but having a positive attitude, no matter what, is such an important principal...you'll be happier, and so will everyone around you!

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