Being a true follower of Christ means that our lives will be lived in such a way that others cannot help but notice. We will touch the ones that Jesus would touch, and be a servant to all. We will be filled with such passion that we will glide easily through our days, and our nights will be filled with restful sleep. This is the goal to which we aspire. How do we achieve such a state; how do we reach this level of commitment? It begins by changing our attitudes about life; we must change our personal philosophy if we are ever to achieve a close fellowship with God. Our culture has conditioned us to acquire many habits and beliefs that are simply incongruent with following Jesus. Today I want to discuss some destructive mental attitudes that will keep us from living the life we desire to live.
In Western culture in particular, we have become a very selfish people. One of the first questions we need to ask ourselves is “Do we consider the feelings of others, or are we more often concerned only with ourselves?” Take a moment to think back over your day; in fact make a habit of reviewing the day’s events each night before you go to bed. How did you treat other people? Did you put the needs of others before your own? Were you selfish in your actions, operating out of a mindset that was self-seeking? Did you behave in a manner in which you would want others to behave towards you? Jesus lived a life of service to others. He put the needs of others ahead of his own desires. How are we measuring up to the standard He set for us?
Another mental attitude we must check is our attitude toward the actions of others. Do we try and find the good in every person and in every situation, or are we quick to condemn others for their faults? It is much easier to find fault with someone rather than finding good. By finding fault we are able to mask our own shortcomings and exalt our own capabilities. Instead of operating with this mindset, what if we instead readily exposed our own faults while expressing admiration for the talents of others? Instead of finding weakness by default, let us practice the habit of praising the strengths of others as we converse with them. Instill in yourself the rule that you must offer something positive to every encounter before you allow yourself to say anything negative. Jesus lived a life in which He built up those around Him. He encouraged those without hope and brought healing to those in despair. Let us live our lives in the same manner.
Finally, what is our reaction when things go wrong, when they do not go as planned? Are we quick to find people or reasons on which to shift the blame? Do we lash out, making every excuse as to why we failed? Most do not like to be around negative people. Always placing blame on others is a very negative trait and does not lead to a winsome personality, a personality that reflects Jesus. Take responsibility for your own actions and failures. Seek solutions to the problems, learn from your failures and search for the root cause of your mistakes. What could you have done differently? Who could you have asked for help? What advice did you ignore? Always take full responsibility for yourself. Never place the blame on others because deep down we all know it is we who are to blame. By becoming constant learners and working diligently toward our goals, we will achieve them. Then we will need no one to blame. Jesus lived a life of full accountability, accepting responsibility not only for his own actions but for the actions of others as well. He is our model.
How’s your mental attitude? Are you modeling the life of Christ? Do you put the needs of others before your own? Do you seek to find the good in others rather than finding fault? Finally, do you accept responsibility for your actions or do you seek to place blame? Living a life that looks like Jesus is not easy. It requires asking ourselves some tough questions and being prepared to make the changes necessary in order to better reflect the love of God. Many will give up and say it’s too difficult. Many will refuse to change, and in so doing turn away from the One who gave His life for them. Don’t turn away; check your mental attitudes and make the necessary corrections. Diligently seek to live a life that looks like Jesus and you will find the life, the love, the peace, the rest and the joy that your soul has craved since your birth.