They were right of course, I could be rotten.
I find myself wanting to say that to the 10 year old girl I babysit, but I don't know if that's my place or not.
If I was anything like her, Mom, Dad, I'm so sorry.
I find myself needing an attitude tune-up in new ways as I get older.
Hopefully at 25 I am not still having the same kind of bad attitude that I did at 12, but it's come to my attention that there are new, possibly worse, ways to have a bad attitude.
Through his letter to the Philippians, Paul leaves little room for us to debate the fact that as Christians, we have no excuse to live life with anything but joy or a consistent good attitude.
Yet, I find plenty of reasons to be unhappy, anxious, worried, frustrated, annoyed, and down right pissed off!
But Paul, through the example of his own life, makes a great point.
Since Saul became Paul, since a man that made it his life mission to persecute and torture Christians became a man persecuted and tortured in the name of Christ, since God met him on the road and changed him forever, God can change, and will change, anyone who meets him in the same way.
My bad attitude says to the world, that even though I know Christ, I am no different than they are.
I complain about the weather just as much, if not more, than anyone else.
I am just as unsatisfied with the body that God gave me.
I am just as easily frustrated when things don't go my way or when people don't act as I want them to.
My attitude should be dependent on what I know to be true instead of my current circumstances or what my feelings lead me to believe is true.
There should be no complaining, no anxiety, no worry, no fear, no anger, no pouting.
(and yes that state of being is attainable)
I think it was Priscilla Shrier that said, "Emotions are based on past experiences and personal tendencies".
And Tom Job who said, "Feelings come from thoughts, thoughts come from what I know, and what I know is that God loves me...That's all I need to know to be fine"
But I don't always act like I believe that He loves me.
As a human, as a fallen person, my heart sick with the disease of sin, I still usually base my actions off what I feel.
But feelings lie.
When I let my personal tendencies & my past experiences dictate my emotions and therefore my attitude, I am not reflecting my Savior who loves me!
I am projecting to the world that even though I claim Him (more importantly, even though He claimed me) nothing has changed.
It says to the non believer:
He in fact has not overcome Satan.
He is not great enough to overcome my self.
And then whoever was watching me, looking for answers, ultimately looking for Christ, moves on.
Because obviously, Christ is not the answer after all.
But He is.
And I know that.
I believe that with all my heart.
How could I live my life in this way?
Stripping Him of his authority, and might, and power.
Living as though He has not provided me with joy everlasting, peace that passes all understanding, purpose in this life, and love unending.
Again and again.
Tom Job said this about living fearful of what is to come in life:
The plan that God is working out in your life is that He is making you more like Jesus. He is putting you through the exact circumstances that He knows will mold your soul into what makes you like Jesus. Until His plan is accomplished, you are invulnerable.
As a follower of Christ, He has made me holy.
Holy means to be different or set apart.
If I let my emotions make me anxious or fearful of the future, I am not trusting that God has control.
I am not trusting that He is making me more like Jesus through my circumstances.
When I think of it in those terms, how could I ever be anything but joyful?!
He is making me like Christ!!
He is molding me to be like my Savior!
Because of what I know about Jesus, I should never be anxious, worried, frustrated, or find myself complaining again.
Paul, had every reason in life to be miserable, but he sat in a jail cell singing praises to God.
I have every reason to be happy, but I am often miserable.
I need an attitude change.
Turns out that everything Saul knew for certain, was a lie. Everything he felt for certain was untrue.
Then he met Jesus and everything changed.
Then he became Paul and what he knew above all else was that his Savior loved him.
And that was all he needed to know in order to live a life of joy.
I resolve to believe that God is right.
I resolve to live my life knowing that all I have doesn't actually belong to me. I don't even belong to me!
I will not be afraid, or anxious, or worried, or frustrated, or pissed off, because Christ claimed me and I gave my life to Him.
Since He posses my life, I have nothing to lose.
That is what I know.
And if I know I have nothing to lose, then my attitude will reflect only my security in Christ.
Like Paul, I will live a life of joy in all circumstances.
The Father loves me.
And that's all I need to know.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.