Proverbs 31 Womans Devotional - Encouragement for Today

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Encouragement 12-31-04


December 31, 2004
Encouragement for Today

"The Attitude Flu"
By Susanne Scheppmann,
Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

Key verse:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5 (NIV) 

Somehow standing in long lines to return Christmas presents, isn't as fun as when I was waiting patiently for my perfect gifts to be rung-up.  During the holly jolly Christmas season, familiar carols floated in the air.  I could smell the potpourri of cinnamon and apples.  Waiting was almost enjoyable.

However, now I stand stewing about the slowness of the clerk.  If she went any slower she would be in reverse, I think to myself. 

As I study the faces around me, I realize it appears we have all lost our holiday zest.   As a matter-of-fact, I am just plain grumpy.  I think I have caught the attitude flu. And do you know what is the worst part of having this type of flu?  It can be contagious.

Why?  Because others react to my attitudes.  For example, if I am scowling at the clerk when my turn finally arrives, she probably won't be very patient with me, either.  If I growl at my husband when he walks through the door this evening, I will most likely put him on the defensive.  If I complain in the car with my children listening to each word, I'll have whining children for the rest of the evening.  Yup, the "attitude flu" is very contagious.

However, there is good news for us who battle occasional bouts of bad sentiments.  The Bible can give us a good vaccination against it, if we will take to heart what it recommends.  For instance, Philippians 2:5 advises us, Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. 
Great advice, but what was the attitude of Jesus?   When we read the Gospels, we see that Jesus was always ready to listen to others.  His kindness spurred others to kindness.  His patience exhibited itself repeatedly with his disciples who asked endless questions and made stupendous errors.  Yet, he loved the little children who clamored to sit on his lap.

Christ's perfect attitude can be summed up in Galatians 5:22-23.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

It is a New Year, a new beginning. Starting today, I have decided that I will vaccinate myself each day with a good healthy dose of Scripture. I will meditate on it and ask God to help me develop the same healthy attitude of Christ Jesus. I know I will feel better and so will everyone else that I encounter.

Will you join me in the fight against the "attitude flu?"   

My prayer for today

Father God, help me to recognize when a negative attitude creeps into my day.  Each day as I read your Word, embed it in my life. Help me to develop daily the same attitude that was in Jesus.

Application steps

In a Bible concordance look up the words: joy, kindness, and patience.  Write one or two verses on an index card.  Tape them on your mirror or fridge as a reminder to keep the attitude of Christ Jesus throughout the day.

Reflection points

What situations can usually cause me to develop the "attitude flu?"

What would my family say about my attitude each day?

How can I develop the attitude of Christ Jesus?

Power verses

To be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:23-24 (NIV) 

"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27 (NIV) 

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) 

Additional resources

Living Life on Purpose, by Lysa TerKeurst

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed,  by Lysa TerKeurst

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