After watching Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton commentate on the Olympics, I saw a link on social media to his story. I was curious. I clicked to hear more about his journey. It was interesting to learn about his joys and triumphs and also discover about the challenges and heartaches that have shook his world. He could have sunk into discouragement over his disabilities.
One comment he made cause me pause and reflect: "The only true disability in life is a bad attitude."
He did not consider his cancer or his brain tumor a disability. He was not bitter about the losses that he had experienced or the struggles that had brought him to his knees. He accepted that those things were used by God to guide him, grow him, and bless him. The one thing he knew to truly cripple was the attitude of the heart.
God agrees that the sinful attitudes we have carried in our hearts are corrupted. They will cripple us from living freely in this new way of life that we have been called to live. When we buy into the lies that the devil tells us we lose sight of the joys and blessing that God is working out in our lives, and our attitude reflects that stinkin' thinkin'.
God cares deeply about us and does not want us to get stuck in those old ways of thinking. Our attitude needs a significant adjustment. We are to be renewed in our attitudes so that our thinking begins to take on God’s righteousness and holiness, seeing ourselves has his redeemed children.
Ephesians 4:22-24 says, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
So how do we keep our attitude from crippling our life and becoming a disability?
- Focus on God. As we focus on God we will become more like him. Whatever we worship, we will become. As we choose to focus on God he will equip us to put aside our sinful desires and focus on what really matters. Choosing to study and learn more about our Savior will help us think and act more like him day by day.
- Live in Forgiveness. Christ came to forgive us that we might have life to the fullest. Christ modeled forgiveness for us, even forgiving those who were killing him. God tells us to forgive as we have been forgiven, which is no small task. When we forgive we set ourselves free from being locked in an attitude of bitterness and anger.
- Practice Gratitude. Instead of focusing on what we wish we had or what we think that we deserve, start by thanking God for what you have. Gratitude will help us see past the deceitful desires of our sinful nature. Accept today as a gift and choose to find the joy in each moment. Choose to thank God for all the ways that you have been blessed.
Do not let a bad attitude cripple you from having the full life that God intended for you. Don't give in to a disability of the heart. Decide today to get a better attitude, the attitude of Christ. You can’t do it on your own; it is the work of the Spirit within you that has the power to transform. Allow God’s power to transform your attitude.
Lord, we get stuck in our negative thinking and we can feel how our thinking is crippling us. Lord help us to focus our hearts and minds on you. Cultivate in us a heart of forgiveness so we might be your thankful people. In the name of Jesus our Savior, Amen.