“IT’S ALL ABOUT ATTITUDE”                                  By Pastor YAU

Text: Ephesians 4:31-32                                                  October 30, 2005

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)     A research result:  In a study conducted by the reputable Carnegie Foundation, it was discovered that to be successful in career, relational skills are far more important than knowledge. The research found that only 15 percent of a person’s success is determined by job knowledge and technical skills. Eighty-five percent is determined by an individual’s attitude and ability to relate to other people.

2)     Contrary to common beliefs: Many people, if not most, especially people of Asian background, believe that knowledge and skills learned through formal education or personal interests are the backbones of success. That’s why we see so many parents will do all they can, scraping every penny, to push their kids to the best school they can afford if their kids are capable of making it there. Many of these parents pressure their kids on academic and career success ignoring the importance of character training and attitude formation. All they want to see in their kids is making good grades, go to the best school, find the best job and make the most money.

3)     Where is the Bible? Most parents, including many Christian parents, do not consider the Bible has anything to do with career success. While the Bible has little to say on making good grades, the Bible does have a lot to say about building good character and forming positive attitude and how to relate to people. From the Laws in the Old Testament to the teaching of the Apostles, there are tons of good direct and indirect teachings and principles we may use to build character and form attitude. To brush the Bible aside in trying to be successful is like trying to grow your body stronger and healthier but not providing proper nourishment from appropriate food intake.

 

WHY IS ATTITUDE SO IMPORTANT?  Because . . . . . 

1)    Attitude shows your upbringing: The pattern of DNA defines the facts of a person on biological level just as attitude defines that same person on personality level. But unlike DNA, attitude is not born like DNA but is formed through the process of life. Attitude shows how a person is raised, how he lived his life and things he learned from his friends, chooses his friends, adopts the kind of life philosophy and how his family and surroundings contributed to the formation of his attitude. It also shows his ability to tell the difference of right from wrong, good from bad, being selfish or generous, kind or mean, forgiving or grudge holding etc. Many people believe that from a person’s attitude, you can tell how his parents did their job of parenting and how successful he is going to become.

2)    Attitude colors how you see others: Attitude is like sun glasses: they color everything and everyone you see. Everything and everyone who may come in contact with you in school, at work, in church or at home or anywhere else is filtered through your attitude. Your attitude forms your opinion about the thing or person. You look at things or people from the filter of your attitude. Therefore many times, your perspective about an individual is either twisted or incomplete or incorrect or ignorant. Bias is inevitable when you make judgment on others based on your subjective attitude.

3)    Attitude also colors how others see you: Most people who make judgment on you are influenced by their attitude. Instead of evaluating people and things based solely on facts and merits, people form their opinion about you based on your attitude instead of who you really are. Good and pleasant attitude creates a positive image about you which draws good and pleasant response from others. That’s why people who have positive and pleasant attitude get more things done than those who hold negative or unpleasant attitude. This proves that the result found by the Carnegie research is true.  Your attitude affects your level of success.

4)    Attitude also affects your happiness: People form their beliefs on life either happy or unhappy mostly not from their environment but from their attitude, the way they respond to their environment. Few people are able to change their environment, but all of us are able to change our attitude toward our environment: be happy or be unhappy. We always can find reasons to be happy or unhappy in any circumstance. It all comes down to our attitude toward people and things surrounding us.

 

THE BIBLE ON ATTITUDE: The Bible has a lot to say about attitude. Let us focus on four areas as we search to form good attitudes:

1)   Humble:  “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment.” (Romans 12:3) This is the most important attitude we all need to have: be humble. We all have our worthiness, usefulness and contribution. But we should not think more than we deserve. Do not build a false sense of superiority. Being sober is being proper and reasonable. Pride is the worst attitude which may cause a lot of harm or trouble in our relationship with others.

2)   Positive: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.” (Job 19:25-26) No life in human history is a smooth sail all the way. There will be hard times, difficult people, failures, tears even heartbreaking days. This may happen at home, at work, in school even at church. Yet, we need to hold our heads up, keep our attitude positive, knowing that God will bring the sun up in the morning without exception. Positive attitude is also important when dealing with people. See the good side even when there are wrongs in them. Get up and keep going.

3)   Gentle and kind:  “Be kind and gentle to one another.” (Ephesians 4:32) This has to do with our heart on the inside, be kind, and our expression on the outside, actions. There are too much cruelty and mean spirit in this world, and we all can use some kind and gentle expression. This has to do with others when they did not fulfill their responsibility, did not measure up to your expectation, made mistakes or bad decisions, messed up their lives or just being weak. The Apostle Paul encouraged those who are strong to bear the burdens of those who are weak. (Galatians 6:2)

4)   Forgiving: “Bear with each other, forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” (Colossians 3:13) Stepping on someone else’s toe is inevitable in practical life. We all have offended others as being offended by others. Keeping grudges and never let go can only make relationship deteriorating faster. No one has never made mistakes or offend others. We all need to forgive and be forgiven. Recognizing our own shortcomings and be ready to forgive will tear down many dividing walls and keep others closer to you.

 

BENEFITS OF IMPROVING ATTITUDE:

1)   Increasing your personal value: Value here doesn’t mean money---no money can buy personal value. Value here means higher self confidence, more likable, better image, more relaxed approach and happier feeling about your self.

2)   Increase your potential of success: As found by Carnegie research, people with better attitude have better relational skills which in turn have higher chances of career success. To many people, better career success means higher social status and satisfaction.

3)   Improving relationship: We are talking about relationship in the inner circle: your family, with spouse and children, close friends and loved ones. These are the people who determine your identity. We have seen people who may have high career success but low and poor inner circle relationship. These people suffer emotional imbalance, isolation, loneliness and low self esteem.

4)   Increasing your joy of life: Just look at point 4 on BIBLE ON ATTITUDE you may examine what kind of attitude you may have and how they may affect the level of joy of your life. Your positive attitude will improve your ability to relate to others and for others to get closer to you. You certainly will be much happier if you have a positive attitude.

 

  CONCLUSION:

1)   Do you have an attitude problem? Is your attitude helping or hurting your life, career, relationship? Are you honest in accessing your situation? What do you need to do to improve your attitude?

2)   Read the text of today: Study the details and the application in this message. Compare your own attitude with the biblical teaching and see what you can do to develop a better attitude.

3)   Your attitude about Jesus: Do you respect Him? Do you believe in Him as Lord and Savior? He can change your attitude and life.