(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Time for a Gratitude Adjustment!
By Iain Dick
“You need a real attitude adjustment!” How many of us heard those words from our parents when we were teenagers? How many of us have uttered those words to our kids at some point? How many of us want to do as pro-wrestler John Cena would do, and deliver our own Attitude Adjustment as our finishing move?
Attitude is something that is available in the bucket-load when you’re a teenager, and more often than not, it needs adjusting.
I can remember being 15-years-old and thinking how nobody understood me. Life felt like a constant stream of things that I didn’t like doing, or didn’t enjoy. In hindsight, the list of things I appreciated was very particular; there was usually somebody who had a thing or two to say about them, that I just did not want to hear. But do you want to know a secret? It’s not just kids and teenagers this is a thing for.
What reveals itself when you become a parent, is that as much as you’re dealing with your child’s behavior (the outworking of their childlike attitude), your own attitude is the one thing you have full autonomy over.
Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl once said, “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
Nobody in this world has the power to change another person’s attitude – that’s a freedom we have apart from others. But not only is that a freedom; it’s a choice that only you can make.
You may have heard it said that “taking offense is a choice.” Well the same goes with your attitude.
The Bible gives us examples of people choosing how they perceive their circumstances:
“Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”
– Daniel 10:12
“…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”
– Romans 12:2
The responsibility of how you see any given situation is not someone else’s problem. The only person who has the power to change your attitude is you!
Life may be pretty tough on you, and you could be having to live with struggles of your own every day – and that’s hard! No one wants to have a life that feels like a struggle. But our mindset is what can make or break it. “For the mindset on the flesh is death, but the mindset on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is in Psalm 100:4: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” The reason I love it is that it puts things into priority order. First comes thanksgiving and praise. Anything else you have to say or do should always come second to them.
Newsflash: If it looks like everything sucks and nothing is working out for you, it could be time for a gratitude adjustment.
We can be so short-sighted in how we see things in life, but if we would just welcome a change in perspective, the possibilities are endless! If only we would just lift our eyes from whatever news article we’re reading, whoever has bothered us that day, whatever health issue we find ourselves living with. To see how good God has been to us, and how good He will always continue to be – maybe our perspective will be lifted also. Maybe even start using language in everyday life to show gratitude and thanksgiving for God, and the things He has given you.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not always the easiest thing to do. But God hasn’t called us to an easy life; rather, He’s called us to victory. When we know that God’s strength is perfected in our weakness, we can walk in courage that He’s got us.
Take comfort that even though life can be tough, and people don’t always understand your life – God does. He’s with you in it and through it. Whatever you are facing today, choose to have a real gratitude adjustment. Walk through it with an attitude of gratitude.