Monday, March 25, 2019

Change Thinking, Change Actions - Martin Wiles

Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Philippians 2:5-7 NIV

I would not return. My reputation was at stake.
I had patronized a local restaurant since it opened in our town. And most of the time I had experienced the same forms of poor customer service: I’m through eating when the server gets around to asking me if I want a refill, the kitchen takes an unusually long time to prepare the food, the food isn’t prepared as I ordered it, the food is cold, they don’t have what I want even though it’s on the menu, or I receive different stories from servers about what I can and can’t substitute.
If I thought long enough, I could probably think of some other misfortunes I’ve experienced. And each time I go, I end up with a bad attitude. Being human, I want to blame my attitude on the poor service I receive. Having studied human nature, I know that’s not true. But as I try my best to stay away from situations where I know temptation lies, I recently told my wife I would not eat there anymore unless someone offered to pay for my food.
Jesus had a better attitude than I often do. One of humility. One where He didn’t respond with anger or bad attitudes when things didn’t go His way. Rather, He gave up the glories of heaven—and His powerful position—to come to earth to die for folks with bad attitudes.
Having the same mindset as Christ involves controlling our thinking. The above-mentioned infringements made it easy for my attitude to deteriorate, but I knew I could control my thinking. Had I thought good thoughts while experiencing a bad situation, my attitude would have turned out differently.
If we don’t control our thinking, our attitudes will stink—as mine did. And so will our testimonies for Christ. The good news is that God gives us the ability to control our thinking. Which, by the way, is important since our thinking leads to actions. Events don’t make us angry or upset. The way we think about them is the culprit.
Paul’s advice in another place begs for our attention: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8).
Don’t let situations determine your attitude. Ask God to help you change the way you think.

Prayer: Father, enable us to change the way we think about events so we can avoid attitudes that damage our testimony for You.

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