April 12, 2010
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…"
Philippians 2:5 (NIV)
One day I opened my car door and was blasted with a horrific smell. I searched every inch of the car but could not find the source of the stench. I then took action to get rid of the smell: I scrubbed the carpet with deodorizers and sprayed air freshener. The stench persisted. I left the car doors open, deciding I couldn't possibly run errands in that stinky car.
I went back inside, opened the refrigerator, and noticed a small trickle of milk had leaked on to the shelf. After examining the milk container, I realized that the milk must have leaked into the car the day before when I got groceries. That explained the cause of my stinky car: spoiled milk, one of the most offensive odors I've ever smelled.
Negative attitudes are like the stench of spoiled milk, permeating our lives and affecting everyone we come in contact with. Think about some of these negative attitudes that might make you stinky: complaining, selfish, prideful, bitter, or unforgiving. Do any ring true with you today?
Now imagine a pleasing aroma. What comes to mind? A freshly baked pie, the scent of the ocean, newly brewed coffee, or a cinnamon candle. A pleasant aroma is so powerful that it can bring a smile to our faces and make us feel more positive. The same is true of our positive attitudes. In our relationships we can be like a fragrant aroma by adopting attitudes that please and reflect Christ. In fact, Paul teaches that we are a "fragrance of Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:15). Consider these pleasing attitudes: thankful, humble, generous, gracious, kind, and cheerful. You can ask God to be one of these fragrances through you today.
Our attitude provides an accurate litmus test for the true condition of our hearts. God cares first about the condition of our hearts because when God has our hearts, He knows that we're surrendered to Him. He'll mold us and shape our attitudes and actions to reflect His character.
Dear Lord, search me, O God, and know my heart (Psalm 139:23). Soften my heart and make me willing to receive an attitude adjustment from You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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Since our attitudes reflect the condition of our hearts, take some time to sit quietly before the Lord. Allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart.
If you know you've had a bad attitude, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the root of that stinky attitude. For example, if you've been grumbling and complaining, the root of this attitude might be a sense of entitlement. Once you recognize the root, confess it and ask God to remove it. Ask God to work His Christ-like attitude in and through you.
Consider the various relationships affected by your positive or negative attitude. What fragrance does your spouse smell when you come near? Spoiled milk or a fragrant spring candle? What attitude do your coworkers get a whiff of? What about your children? Or,.the cashier at the grocery store when you're hurrying and running late?
In which relationship is it the most difficult for you to be the "fragrance of Christ"?
Proverbs 4:23, "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life." (NAS)
2 Corinthians 2:14, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place." (NAS)
© 2010 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105