Fresh Start: Get a Fresh Attitude in 2017

Too many times I’ve heard people say “That’s just how I am. I can’t change.”

When you think about it, what that really means is “I’m beyond God. He’s not powerful enough to fix me.” And mixed in with that is also a dose of “I don’t want to put in the work to change.”

Now I’m not Pollyannaish about this. I’m all too familiar with my own faults. We all are born with weaknesses (as well as strengths). But the good news is that we have a God who is in the renovation business and promises to transform us. He tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:16-18:

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

Choose Your Attitude for 2017

As we can see in the above verses, God can redeem the weaknesses in our lives. We may always have certain tendencies, but I believe His transforming power can cause us to walk in victory, whether it’s an immediate transformation or a process.

If you happened to miss the first post in this series, you can read it here: Fresh Spirit. For today, let’s focus on an attitude to cultivate for 2017. If you’re grumpy, pick joy. If you’re constantly complaining, cultivate a spirit of thankfulness. If you worry too much, choose trust. Having the desire to change is one thing, but how can we actually do it?

Fresh Start Action List

  1. Become aware. Ask God to point out to you when you are copping the attitude you don’t like. Sometimes we are so entrenched in our habits that we don’t realize how we are acting. Pay attention to the words you say and the thoughts you think. We can’t change things we aren’t aware of.
  2. Make the choice to stop the behavior and choose a different one. Pray for strength to switch your current faulty attitude to the new one.
  3. Brainstorm ideas with God on things you can do to cultivate the new attitude and things you must stop that lead to the bad attitude. For example, if complaining is your downfall, pick one area that you frequently complain about. Resolve that for one hour you will not say one bad thing about it. The next day make 2 hours your goal, and so on until you’ve gone an entire day without complaining about that one thing. On the flip side, to cultivate thankfulness, start a Top 10 Thankful List that you fill in every day. Before you know it, you’ll have established a habit of gratitude.
  4. Commit to doing the hard work to change yourself. Maybe even ask someone to be your accountability partner. It may not be easy or quick, but commit to doing the work that it takes to change. When you have a bad day, don’t beat yourself up over it. Simply start again from where you are.

Remember, God is in the renovation business. If need be, He can take you down to the studs and build up from there! May 2017 be the year of a fresh attitude.

Pray on!

Be a Weakling for Jesus!

How often have we been taught that being helpless is a bad thing?

I grew up in a family where my grandparents emigrated from Germany. They worked hard to establish a business, lost it all in the Great Depression and started over and did it again. I was taught that hard work and independence were important traits to have—and they are.

But it’s been revolutionizing to me lately to discover that our helplessness is the very thing that God is looking for in a person. What? Well in the book A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller, chapter 6 is actually about learning how to be helpless in prayer. He says that prayer is all about bringing your helplessness to Jesus. When we finally realize that we can do nothing lasting in our own strength and power and move out of the way and let God work through our weaknesses, then things start to happen. That’s what grace is all about.

Even more amazing, the more we mature in our Christian walk, the more helpless we realize we are, and the more God works through us. Jesus says in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” And you know what? This is exactly how Jesus prayed and ministered. He did nothing apart from the power of God. “Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner,” John 5:19. So, feeling weak in a situation is actually a great thing. We turn to prayer and bring our helplessness to Jesus who sends the Holy Spirit to empower us.

Where are you weak today so that God can work?

Don’t see it as a hindrance, but rather see it as an opportunity for the power of God to work through your life. Has this ever happened with you? Feel free to share your comments on the blog.

Pray on!