Changing Your Attitude

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The more I live in this world the more I realize that the most frustrating parts of my life are the parts I can’t change!   I’m a change-agent kind of guy!   That’s what feeds my soul.  That’s what gets my creative juices started.  In fact, I’ve been known to change things not because they need to be changed, but because I’m bored!  

 But as I grow in wisdom (my gentle word for “getting older”) I have realized that some things just aren’t in my power to change.   The president is the president for four years.  Th UMC denomination may split. My tendency in the past was to force these issues into a worry box and spend all my focus on them.   But two quotes have helped me turn my thinking around on this.  The first is the serenity prayer.  “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”   As I gain experience in this life, the more I have come to realize how valuable wisdom is.  In fact, some theologians have begun to think that the 3rd part of the Trinity shouldn’t be named spirit at all, but should be called wisdom.  "Don't turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you." - Proverbs 4:6

 But if that’s the case, I would like to add a 4th dimension to our Godly life and that is the importance of attitude!  And that brings me to my second quote by my favorite author, Maya Angelou: “If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change your attitude.”  Paul say similar things in his letter to the Philippians: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

 Jesus might have cut to the chase with s big more humor and bite: “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your neighbor’s eye.”

 So, what about you?   Are you praying for wisdom to “know the difference?”   Are you taking an inventory of your attitude?  Chances are if it’s bitter and on edge, it’s because you are confusing what you can change with what you can’t.

 Your friend and pastor, learning to walk with a bit more wisdom, Brook

Tim Schaaf