We are undergoing a revamp of our spiritual closet at the moment and seeing as it is the season to spring clean, we are cleaning out our hearts. Here is an item that needs to be cleaned out that we don’t always notice. People say: “But they are Christians; they are not supposed to behave like that!” Cannot tell how many times I have heard that statement, both from believers and non-believers. Most of the time, I agree with them. Christians are not always a good example, probably should know better, but in the end, despite being redeemed, are still prone to a sinful nature. Each of us, needs a revamp, and nowhere is it more evident, than in some of the attitudes we hold onto, which originate in our old life.
They are attitudes that are so part of the way we were that we don’t always realise they are wrong. It is often these attitudes that discourage younger believers and do not set a good example. 1 Cor 10:23-24
“Everything is permissible” – but not everything is beneficial.
“Everything is permissible” – but not everything is constructive.
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
Paul gives good advice here: There may essentially be nothing wrong with what we are doing, or saying, but we should always try to be gracious and sensitive. This is because our attitudes are not always beneficial or constructive to younger believers.
Paul implores us “whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31) And then warns in verse 32 “Do not cause anyone to stumble.”
God’s love is to be the determining factor in how we treat others, “seeking the good of many.” (1 Cor 10:33)
Living a life that says : “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Cor 11:1)
While we are cleaning out our spiritual wardrobe, is there anything in the “clothing” we wear that is not beneficial or constructive towards younger believers. Attitudes in particular can continue with us, their source may be in our previous old life, but we don’t identify that they are attitudes that need to go and do not fit in with the new person we are in Christ.
Here are my top ten attitudes I have observed, that could do with a makeover:
- I’m looking out for Number One, or ME First: where we are just insensitive and doing whatever we like and the “people must just deal with it.”
- Then there is the oversensitive one, who won’t get involved because “You hurt me”
- Closely followed by the “I don’t want to ruffle any feathers” person. Since I would hate it if you were disappointed in me or displeased in any way. So to be safe, I won’t get involved.
- Then there is the YES person, who will go along with everybody, do whatever is necessary, the real motive being to gain the approval and love of people, rather than God.
- Don’t forget the demanding one – “My way or no way!” My idea is best, my opinion stays, my plans are to be followed.
- Self service one – “If I do this for you, will you do this for me.”
- The Princess – “Why are you not helping me achieve my goals?”
- Reverse Ubuntu – “You are here for my benefit” as opposed to “my good is determined by the common good.”
- The “do what I can” Attitude – I did what I could, so be happy with that, I wash my hands.
- The “Just leave me” Attitude – Just leave me alone, I don’t want to get involved, don’t want to see, or hear, or understand, it would disturb my comfortable life.
We don’t think these attitudes cause any harm, but they are a poor example and cause younger believers to stumble. According to Paul, the right attitude is:
The Serving attitude: Seeking the Good of Others, “I will do what will be good for you. Follow my example.”
Father, forgive me for all the times I have not considered how my attitude affects other people. I have not considered whether my attitude causes a younger believer to stumble, or whether it is setting a good example. I may in my opinion think there is nothing wrong with my behavior, but others may find that it breaks them down and does not benefit their spiritual growth. Help me Holy Spirit, to examine my day to day attitudes and if they consider the good of others and the spiritual growth of others that are watching me, or interacting with me. I want to be a person that displays healthy, kind and constructive attitudes that others will want to embrace and make part of their character.
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