In our journey of faith, we often grapple with the question: How can I receive Divine help for an “attitude adjustment”?
Our Struggle with Carnality
One undeniable aspect of being human is our propensity to sin, an inclination rooted deeply in our nature. A brief delve into Romans chapter 7 unveils the secrets harbored within the human heart. As Jeremiah discerningly notes, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it” (Jer 17:9)?
Jesus further elaborates, highlighting how from the depths of our hearts emanate evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness (Mark 7:21-22). It becomes clear that we can’t attribute our sinful nature to our parents or our circumstances – it resides within us and defiles us (Mark 7:23).
Yet, within this bleak landscape lies our beacon of hope. Once we place our trust in Christ and welcome the Spirit of God within us, we can begin the journey of attitude adjustment.
A Battle Uphill
The apostle Paul, in his heartening honesty, confesses his struggle with sin. Despite his best intentions, he often finds himself drawn towards the very evils he seeks to avoid (Rom 7:19). This resonates with many of us in our spiritual journey.
However, it’s not a losing battle. Paul later proclaims, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death” (Rom 7:24), only to resolve with steadfast faith, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7:25).
The message here is clear: we are all in a relentless spiritual battle. But through this struggle, we can choose sanctification and make choices pleasing to God, relying on Jesus Christ for strength. After all, without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).
Embracing a New Heart
Before we can shift our attitudes, we need a change of heart – a new heart with fresh desires and passions for God and his children. Ezekiel prophesies a time when God declares, “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezk 36:26). This prophecy paints a picture of a heart transformation that can only be orchestrated by the Divine, a transformation that ultimately influences our attitudes.
Choosing to be Content
It’s within our power to choose a life of contentment rather than residing in perpetual discontent. Being around someone who consistently focuses on negativity can be quite draining. Paul wisely advises Timothy that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1st Tim 6:6), emphasizing the value of displaying gratitude, and thankfulness, and thus gaining inner peace.
Even in the face of adversity, Paul managed to cultivate contentment. Regardless of his trials and tribulations, he learned to be content in all situations (Phil 4:11). He chose contentment. It’s a choice that doesn’t come naturally to many of us, but if we’re constantly wrestling with negativity, we must recognize our discontentment and adjust our attitudes.
As Christians, we acknowledge our susceptibility to negativity and bad attitudes. The first step towards rectifying our attitudes is trusting in Christ. Without the Spirit of God, our hearts remain stony and unyielding. Once we trust in Christ, we receive a new heart, and with this new heart, we become new creations (2nd Cor 5:17).
Finally, much like love, contentment is a conscious choice. We can choose to live in contentment and show love through our actions, just as Jesus did (John 3:16). It may not be easy, but it is indeed worthwhile. You are not a helpless victim—you can choose to adjust your attitude with the help of the Spirit of God and the Word of God, and everything you do can glorify God.