Have you ever thought about all the choices we have in life? From the simple things, like what to wear today, to the complex things, like what career to choose. As I was reading in the screen room this morning, I was reminded that I also have a choice about the attitude I have today. All too often I let circumstances determine my attitude - if it's bright and beautiful outside, and things are going well in my family, it's easy to be cheerful. But when it's stormy outside and stormy in my house due to conflict, it's easier to let myself feel down and out.
Instead of allowing my circumstances to control me, it's liberating to know I can choose to control my emotions and see circumstances for what they are: God's opportunities for me to be stretched and to grow in my relationship with Him. Paul put it best, "...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11 (KJV) It didn't come naturally for Paul, and I know it doesn't come naturally for me, but going through the ups and downs of life help us to 'learn' to be content, knowing that the One who created us, loves us, and is intimately involved in the process of growing us up to be conformed to His image (Rom. 8:29).
Digging through my quotable quotes and articles file, I ran across this great article:
by: Charles Swindoll
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.
So today, when things don't happen like I expect them to, a family member is sick, I don't accomplish everything I'd like to, and the serviceman doesn't show up, I have a choice to make - will I cave in to my circumstances, or choose to be content and joyful in spite of it? I'm glad God created us with a free will - and He gives me every reason to choose a positive attitude! What about you?