This is our third and final sermon on the topic of “undoing.” This sermon gives practical advice on how to look at our attitudes, how they come about, and how we can work with God to end negative attitudes and transform them into life-giving, positive attitudes.
Our third and final sermon on “undoing.” Today we’re talking about undoing our attitudes.
Our attitudes are important. The world says attitude determines altitude…
Benefits of a healthy attitude:
As always, Jesus is our model. Phil. 2:5-8
Some people don’t really believe we can change our attitudes–that they’re too “built in” or are part of our personality, and we just need to learn to cover them up so we are more socially acceptable. We learn as children, and sometimes don’t unlearn.
But Galatians 5:1 gives us hope! He died to set us free in many, many areas. And our negative attitudes are not really ours–they are what enslave us.
Good news–our attitudes are our choice! And they can change!
Scientists have observed some true things about attitude. There are three parts….
So if we want to undo our negative attitudes, we have to do THE GREAT UNRAVELING.
God will continue to work by His Holy Spirit. But part of our spiritual growth is taking responsibility for the attitudes we have, and work with God on the unraveling.
We can’t change our attitudes by attacking just one of these things. We have to undermine them strand by strand and then build up a new one!
Let’s start with the last one–what we say and do. Now it’s good to prevent our bad attitudes from spilling out on other people. That’s loving and kind, and self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Ephesians 4:29 and Ephesians 5:4
This is love. This is grace. This makes life easier for all of us. But that doesn’t get to the bottom of the attitude.
Now, the second part of an attitude–our feelings? How can I change what we feel? Well we can’t, directly. What we feel is important. We are unwise to live by our feelings, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. God has emotions, and wants us to enjoy healthy emotions, too. Remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength! Ps. 37–delight yourself in the Lord! Psalm 16:11, too. God wants us to have healthy and enjoyable emotions.
Our emotions are a gauge, not a guide. They’re meant to report to us, not dictate to us.
The things that bring us pleasure tell us what we love. So ask yourself: What brings you joy? What do you love? What do you hate? What do you fear? “Pleasure is the measure of your treasure.”
Our emotions tell us things! That’s because they’re wired into the things that can change. They are directly tied into what we believe and value–and how much we value them!
So, where you have a bad attitude–what do you believe? Did a bad experience bring about bitterness? Have you made a judgment about a whole group of people because someone in that group hurt you–like a mom or a dad, or a man or a woman, or a teacher.
Also, what do you REALLY expect? Do you expect God to be faithful to you? Do you expect His grace and strength to be there? Do you expect Him to be with you at all times? Do you expect things to go wrong?
Prov. 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Can we believe this Scripture enough to apply to our understanding of our own attitudes? If you have a bad attitude about something, there is a new understanding you need to go after!
Godly replacements: Ephesians 1:3, and Romans 8:28 and 8:38-39, for starters!
If there’s something else we believe instead of those things, that’s where we have to do the replacing. The more we believe that God is good, that He works all things together for good, and that he’s faithful, bad attitudes begin to be undermined, and negative attitudes begin unraveling.
Start by deciding that! In God, with God, you can change your wrong attitudes.
A few things that will help move things along as we do the unraveling and replacing.
Some of the lasting damage of abuse is to our attitudes, which have developed to protect us from even more hurt. Pursue healing of those things that underlie and support your wrong attitudes. Get counsel, get prayer, get to our inner healing team.
Start to put different thoughts in your head. Really, we can do this! Philippians 4:8. Make a list of things you are grateful for, or find beautiful, or that are true and good, and begin to spend more time thinking about them. This is like applying medicine on the outside….eventually it soaks in.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
Prov. 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise…..
We can grow more into the image of Christ every day as we listen to others and learn from them. Bad company not only gets you into trouble, but it twists the three threads of your attitude and drives them downward.
Finally, remember that you need to take ownership and responsibility for your attitude. But the great news is that the One with the perfect attitude is with us to guide us EVERY STEP along the way.