I have been known to answer the “how are you?” question/non-question with “if I were any better, I’d be twins.” It comes from an old story that pre-dates the Interwebs (although there is a different variation of the story that can be found on a Google search). It basically has to do with an attitude that chooses joy. I absolutely want that to be my attitude. I choose joy.
It’s not that I don’t have my “down days,” my “challenges,” or “opportunities to grow.” I do. Every day. It’s not that I don’t fail in my desire to choose joy always. I do (just ask Peggy). It’s just that I want to choose joy as my default way of thinking and behaving.
I am reminded of Paul’s admonition to the church at Colosse in chapter 3, the first part of verse 16: Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. If the message of Christ is to fill my life, then joy MUST be my default setting. Remember, joy was a chief motivator for Jesus. Remember Hebrews 2:2? fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I would be less-than-honest if I said that I have not struggled in this area lately. I have previously written about my struggle with WES (“Whiny Elijah Syndrome”), and I have come off of a summer of spiritual mountaintop experiences. I have also trudged through some valleys over the past month.
I find that when I spend time interceding for others in prayer, my focus get realigned properly.
However, I do work on a few “attitude adjustments” to help me choose joy. Those include:
Realigning Focus. My worries, concerns, challenges, etc. pale in comparison to those facing many other people I know. I don’t engage in the comparison game, I simply stop and pray for those whom I know are facing far greater challenges in their lives than me. I find that when I spend time interceding for others in prayer, my focus get realigned properly, and I can move on.
Realizing Timing. There are two parts to this adjustment. 1) “This, too, shall pass.” It is temporary. Deal with it in prayer and proper action and move on. 2) “There is a purpose for this.” Pray to know what God is trying to teach in this situation. Learn from it and move on.
Remembering Who is in Control. God has got this. He is the One in control, not me. I need to let go and move on.
I have much to learn still in my walk with Christ. I have my obstacles to face and to overcome. I still have my times (days, or even weeks) of WES creeping in. I need your prayers to help me in that regard. I also know that when I realign my focus, realize God’s timing, and remember Who is in control, my climb out of those valleys is much quicker.
I would love to continue this conversation with you. How do you overcome the obstacles of an improper attitude? What are some practical tips you would share in this regard? I need your input, so please comment below and let’s dialogue together!