Friday, December 20, 2013

Lord, Change My Attitude: Review

I can be real here, right? I am going to be totally honest. I did not want to teach this study.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE to teach! I especially love to teach God’s Word. But…I didn’t think I had time with a new baby and owning two of our own businesses. And of course the holidays and a trip to the beach thrown in there!  I kept putting the sweet lady in charge of our women’s ministry off about teaching it, although she was persistent…and I wrestled with God over it in prayer. But I kept feeling a tug at my heart and an undeniable calling to teach this study. So I did. And I cannot even tell you how faithful God was. Wow, what a blessing! I never once felt overwhelmed in preparing. I ALWAYS had time and He ordered my steps so I was able to get everything done that I needed to get done. Funny how He provides when you just TRUST Him, right?

This was hands down one of the best studies I have ever been a part of (not because of anything I did- I just taught directly from the book & added in my own stories & examples) and it truly changed me. It is still changing me and the Lord is doing an incredible work in my life.  And that doesn’t mean it has been easy.  In fact, by incredible, I’m just saying how God-sized of a work it has been. There have been some tears…some painful moments as He has revealed some things to me about myself. Ugly things that needed refining. I am so thankful He never gives up on us & is so full of undeserved grace and mercy. Man, I didn’t even realize the extent to which I needed an attitude adjustment. I feel as if God held a mirror up to my heart, & it wasn’t pretty…

As I said, it is absolutely NOTHING I have done. God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called. All we have to do is be faithful, willing vessels. And although the precious ladies in this Bible study were such an encouragement & it was a joy to watch them all grow and share what God was doing in their lives throughout the study, I know it was mostly for me. The Lord wanted to change my attitude on some things, and this was how He did it. I am so thankful for the opportunity to freely study and teach God’s Word.  And I’m thankful for the changes He is helping me make in my life. Getting rid of the negative attitudes I didn’t even realize had crept into my life.

Here is the REVIEW….

John 10:10 tells us that “the thief comes to steal, kill, & destroy” and that Satan wants to steal our joy by filling us with negative attitudes. These attitudes leave us empty, unfulfilled, unhappy, and living “in the wilderness” as the Isrealites did. I know so many Christians who are “stuck” in this wilderness…

However, the rest of that verse tells us that “Jesus came so that we may have abundant life.” God WANTS to bless us with an abundant life!! He wants to pour out blessings, favor, protection, & empowerment over our lives. He wants us to live in VICTORY; not in defeat. He wants to give us “exceedingly, abundantly more than all we could ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).

Unfortunately, we make the CHOICE to have attitudes that are not pleasing to God. That block the flow of his blessings on us. We cause a lot of our own hurt, pain, & strife without even realizing it.

And if there is one thing I know, it’s that the BEST way to help somebody change is by replacing the negative thought/behavior/action. Here is the basic overview of the study, and you can refer back to the various lessons from the past couple months to see the more extensive study of each topic.

Replace a Complaining Attitude

Complaining is an attitude that if left unchecked will wither my capacity to experience joy and genuine thankfulness. Complaining is contagious and nobody enjoys being around a complainer.

“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”- Philippians 2:14-15

With a Thankful Attitude.

Thankfulness is an attitude that perfectly displaces my sinful tendency to complain and thereby releases joy and blessings into my life. We have SO much to be thankful for, and should spend more time thanking God than asking Him for anything.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Replace a Covetous Attitude

Covetousenss is rampant in our society, and even in our churches, but blocks the flow of God’s fullness in our lives. We are always wanting “more, more, more” in every aspect of our lives, and that “never enough” mentality leaves us with a constant void.

“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” –Matthew 6:20-21

With Contentment.

A consistent attitude of contentment can bring lasting joy and lead you out of the wilderness of covetousness. Be thankful, stop comparing, and only look UP. Focus on your blessings & all that God has given you rather than what you feel you “lack” or “long for.”

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” – 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Replace a Critical Attitude

A continuously critical attitude toward those around me will consume all that is healthy and joy producing in my life.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” –Ephesians 4:29-32

With Love.

The only attitude big enough to replace a critical attitude is an attitude of love.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” – 1 John 4:10-11

Replace a Doubting Attitude

Those who make doubting their lifestyle will spend their lifetime in the wilderness.

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” – James 1:6

With Faith.

Only when faith replaces doubt in the life of a believer can the joy of knowing God become a reality.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

Replace a Rebellious Attitude

Rebellion against proper authority reveals rejection of God’s authority, which brings devastating consequences to our lives.

“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” –Proverbs 16:25

With Submission.

Submission, when properly understood and applied, replaces the pain and strife of rebellion and greatly increases human happiness.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” – James 4:7-10

I hope this study (even if you just followed along & didn’t actually attend) blessed you in the way it has me! Cannot wait to see what the Lord continues to do in my life through what I have learned through this study.

Reference: MacDonald, James. Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (April 1, 2008)


Unknown said...

Such a great post Danielle - I learned so much! I love reading your blog, I always learn so much and it's such a blessing in my life :)
Merry Christmas!
Kristen :)

Anonymous said...

Such an uplifting post! I have seen in my own life in 2013 that I have let many of these attitudes find thier way into my life and it has sucked a lot of the joy ans happiness I could have experienced last year but I had all the wrong attitudes! Just this morning in church I was convicted about the very things mentioned in this blog and have been praying and reading God's word fervently to improve them! What a blessing it was to read this post and it was a great reinforcment to my thoughts and prayers!