How do you feel when someone afflicts you with their bad attitude? Does their negativity increase productivity? Do you want to be around them? Do you want to be a part of their church? Do you want to be closer to God after being around them?
It’s easy for us to look at their attitude, but it is harder for us to look at our own attitude. What are we doing to the people around us? Does our aggravation mean they have to be aggravated too? If we are feeling down, do we have to bring them down? Could our bad attitude destroy the congregation?
Jesus said, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt. 7:12). How does that apply to our attitude? Well, you might be having a bad day, but you try to make others have a good day. You might be feeling down, but you try to lift others up. You might be disappointed, but you try to make others feel excited.
Wouldn’t you want someone to do that for you? Unfortunately, some would rather spend their days in misery than lift others up or be lifted up themselves. That is a sad and unChristian disposition. The fruit of the Spirit includes the presence of joy and love (Gal. 5:22). God pronounced judgment upon those OT saints who did not serve the Lord ” with joyfulness and gladness of heart” (Deut. 28:47).
Perhaps I need to pray that God would “Restore to me the joy of your salvation” (Ps. 51:12). The Psalmist recorded God’s command: “Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, ‘Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!'” (Ps. 35:27). Christians should rejoice because of God’s blessings on them. The Psalmist said, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).
What is your life going to be like when you focus on the joy of the Lord? How is your congregation going to change for the better when you focus on the joy of the Lord and not your personal problems? How much more evangelistic are you going to be when you focus on the joy of the Lord rather than the pain you have been holding?
It’s going to be great, isn’t it! It will be difficult at first for you to change your focus. It will be difficult to stop complaining and start rejoicing. But your life will be better when you focus on the joy of the Lord. Your congregation will be better when you focus on the joy of the Lord.
D. L. DeBord