Pastor Ross Helgeton

Circumstances affect, but need not eliminate positive attitudes

Attitude is everything

By Pastor Ross Helgeton

Attitude is the state of mind that we have toward someone, something or some situation. It has a huge impact on how we feel and react towards situations, people and life in general. In fact, satisfaction and fulfillment will be affected more by our disposition toward life, than by our position in life.

Circumstances influence, but do not eliminate the opportunity to exercise a positive and constructive attitude. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar stated, “Hardening of the attitudes is the most deadly disease on the face of this earth.” And Victor Frankl, concentration camp survivor said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…”

Attitudes manifest themselves in church life as well as illustrated in the following fictional anecdote. Jim Smith went to church one Sunday morning. He heard the organist miss a note during the prelude, and he winced. He saw a teenager talking when everybody was supposed to be bowed in prayer. He felt like the usher was watching to see what he put in the offering plate, and it made him boil. He caught the preacher making a slip of the tongue five times in the sermon by actual count! As he slipped out through the side door during the closing hymn, he muttered to himself, “Never again! What a bunch of clods and hypocrites!”

Ron Jones went to the same church on the same Sunday morning. He heard the organist play an arrangement of “A Mighty Fortress,” and he was thrilled by the majesty of it. He heard a young girl take a moment in the service to speak her simple moving message of the difference her faith makes in her life. He was happy to see that his church was sharing in a special offering for World Vision. He especially appreciated the sermon that because it answered a question that had bothered him for a long time. He thought, as he walked out the doors of the church, “How can a man come here and not feel the presence of God?”

Both men went to the same church on the same Sunday morning. However, their diverse attitudes resulted in two entirely different experiences.

I have always marvelled at Jesus’ positive attitude. He came to earth and spent the bulk of His time in an obscure village in the hills of Galilee. Considering His heavenly origin it was essentially a 33-year tour of a ghetto. He explained that He had come, not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom. Hebrews 12:2 tells us to “…fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame…”

Jesus’ attitude was one of compassion, not criticism and giving, not grudging; an example worth mimicking. Consideration of the goodness of God and the sacrifice of Jesus should help us acquire an attitude of gratitude.

– Rev. Ross Helgeton BRE, MABC, M.Div., Member of the CCPA, Lead Pastor @ E-Free Church of Erskine. Phone: (403) 742–5020 or 742–3384. Email: revrh@telus.net. Website: www.erskinefree.com.

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