Christians Need a Good Attitude

Joe Theismann enjoyed an illustrious 12-year career as quarterback of the Washington Redskins, ending in the year I graduated from high school. He led the team to two Super Bowl appearances--winning in 1983 before losing the following year. When a leg injury forced him out of football in 1985, he was entrenched in the record books as Washington's all-time leading passer. 

Theismann is quoted in Reader's Digest Magazine (1992) describing an insipid descent in his attitude that reminds him to this day about the role of attitude.

"I got stagnant. I thought the team revolved around me. I should have known it was time to go when I didn't care whether a pass hit Art Monk in the 8 or the 1 on his uniform. When we went back to the Super Bowl, my approach had changed. I was griping about the weather, my shoes, practice times, everything.

Today I wear my two rings--the winner's ring from Super Bowl XVII and the loser's ring from Super Bowl XVIII. The difference in those two rings lies in applying oneself and not accepting anything but the best."

Now, I don't mean this to be a motivational moment, or some kind of self-help pep talk.  I do mean to discuss a problem that we face in the Kingdom of God.  I do mean to call us to move beyond self-centered church shopping.  I do mean to inspire us to continue fighting the good fight and to fight that fight against darkness and the Father of Lies with dedication and renewed vigor.  Look what the Holy Spirit says to us about excellence and self-assessment.

     For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.  (Romans 12:3-8)

Are we stagnant?
Are we too self-significant?
Are we satisfied with being a mediocre servant in our church?
Are we focussed on the things that bug us more than the things we are called to?
Are we using anything as an excuse for these attitudes?

Let's ask God to show us if we have done less than our best in serving Him and His kingdom.  Let's allow His Spirit to reveal our negative attitudes that keep us from fully committing ourselves to our ministry in our churches and in our communities.  And lets cultivate an attitude of humble commitment to our team and to personal excellence in our expression of God's gifts.

In Romans 12 the Holy Spirit teaches us that excellence in serving begins with a right attitude.  Our attitude seems to operate as a valve for the operation of the Holy Spirit through us.


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