Lately, I have been wondering how being a Christian has made a difference in my life. Yes, I know I am a Christian writer, yep, even teach the kids at church, but what real change has been made in my life that shows I am a Christian? When it comes to the Christian journey, we are called to live a set apart, different life.
We are told to walk a different way and talk a different talk. The Bible says in the book of Ezekiel that God promises that He “give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh.” 1 Corinthians goes as far as to say that we become a completely new creature when we surrender our lives to God. But what does this mean?
Now most of us who have grown up in the church setting would turn to the verses in the New Testament that talk about ‘Walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh” or “Walk in the light, not in darkness,” but that doesn’t give much direction on how that should look. This blog will outline 4 visible attitudes that Christians should have and explain why these will draw others to God.
Hope – the eternal optimist who never gives up, that is who Christians should be accused of being. Look at Job – everything that happened to him, and because God allowed it nonetheless. It’s one thing to have struggles in live, but its another when it is totally ‘not fair.’ But, through it all Job never lost his hope in God, in the middle of it all, he still said, “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end, He will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see Him, with my own eyes—I, and not another.” He never lost his hope and believe in who God was.
1 Peter 3:15 says that we must always be ready to give a reason for the hope that we have. What is that hope that we have? “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you.” Our first hope is our salvation, that death is not the end. But we also have the hope that worse can get better, that miracles do happen every day and that we are going to get through the rough days. It is the hope of Christians that should lead us to volunteer in hospitals, shelters and soup kitchens, because these people do not have very much hope, and may just need our encouragement that God may still work a miracle. Do not ever lose your hope, this is something that God has given you as a witness to His intervention in our lives. Let it be your reason for not giving up, because our hope is in our God, not in ourselves or in our circumstances or abilities.
Thankfulness – Always remembering God’s goodness and what you owe to Him. The Bible says to be grateful in ALL things! Need help figuring out about what? Put your hand on your heart, there is one good reason – and it gives you about 100 reminders a minute. Need another? Be thankful for the “Grace of God through Jesus (1 Cor 1:4),” “for all of God’s creation (1 Tim 4:4),” “for being our strength and our shield (Psalm 28:7)” and for so, so many more reasons. Here is a good list of 20 verses about thanksgiving – http://jarridwilson.com/20-bible-verses-on-being-thankful/ .
Interestingly enough, thanksgiving is one of the attitudes that God promises makes a huge difference in our prayers. For instance, Jesus said (when he healed 10 lepers but only 1 told Him thanks) that the gratitude of the one leper gave him the faith to be healed. In the Psalms, God actually respects our gratitude so much that He recognizes that sometimes being grateful is really hard to do, but always being grateful shows our trust and faith in God. We may not know what tomorrow holds, but we know Who holds tomorrow in His hands, and that is worth saying thank you for every single day.
Staying Positive – Thomas the Little Engine That Could should be our model in never giving up, because he never stopped believing that everything would be okay and that he would make it through. The Bible says in Philippians 4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice…And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus…Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me… and my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Do you know someone who always has something good to say? One of my co-workers is this way, and sometimes I go out of my way to walk by his classroom who will ALWAYS say something about how good his life is. Why? Because it is so refreshing! Is it always balloons and ice cream? No, but his outlook isn’t saying life is always perfect, he is simply saying how good he does have it. My Mom was always one to remind us that ‘a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22),’ and it is so true! Wouldn’t it be neat if people knew we were Christians, simply because we never had a negative or sad thing to say? Don’t we have all the reason in the world to expect the bad things to turn around? Shouldn’t our positive attitude and smiles and laughter be the reason people want to spend time with us, instead of sour, grumpy hearts being the reason we push them away?
Faith – All the other attitudes depend on this one attitude of Christians. Our hope is based on our faith in God. Our sacrifices of thanksgiving are based on the trust we have in our God to work all things out for our good. Our positive attitude comes from seeing God work on our behalf over and over again. We believe that God can, but more importantly, we believe that He WILL. We know that ‘nothing is impossible with God.’ Jesus, Himself, said that “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” He also said, “You have not because you do not ask.”
Our faith in God is the underlying and overarching reason for Christianity. Faith takes a while to develop, because it requires a daily relationship with God. If we look at Christianity, without faith, it becomes rules and regulations… and we push others (even ourselves!) away from the God of the Bible. If we try to live out the love and kindness without faith involved, then it is being a good person, it is not about Christianity. If your faith in God is so unwavering that you can be thrown in a fire, or put in prison for it, then it is going to make a difference. People will be impacted by the living out of your belief in a big God who cares enough about you to want to hear your requests and intervene on your behalf. As you are going about this week, I pray that God shows you how to preach the Gospel with your attitude to those around you! May hope, thankfulness and positivity flood every moment, so that doubt, fear and a lack of trust never enter your heart. Leave a comment below with how God is changing your attitude from what it used to be before you walked with God.
P.s. – Here are some other blogs dealing with the Christian walk and our attitudes –