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Tag Archives: attitudes

Remaining Above the Fray

The expression above the fray refers to abstaining from getting involved in a heated argument, confrontation or debate.  While individuals may participate by adding their opinion, temperance is demonstrated by going the right distance and no further.  One of the reasons I have not activated my twitter account is to avoid being dragged into a no win situation of endless mudslinging back and forth.

But avoid foolish and ill-informed and stupid controversies and genealogies and dissensions and quarrels about the Law, for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 After a first and second warning reject a divisive man [who promotes heresy and causes dissension—ban him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him], 11 well aware that such a person is twisted and is sinning; he is convicted and self-condemned [and is gratified by causing confusion among believers], Titus 3:9-11.

Controversy is nothing new.  During the first century, philosophers meet in the marketplace to exchange their ideas.  When these new teachings conflicted with biblical principles, dissensions and quarrels about the God’s law triggered heresy, a departure from biblical beliefs.  In the passage above, the apostle Paul warns a servant of Christ to avoid getting sucked into these futile discussions.  In the centuries following biblical times, God raised up Christian historians who wrote apologetic books defending and justifying biblical truth.

Therefore if there is any encouragement and comfort in Christ [as there certainly is in abundance], if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship [that we share] in the Spirit, if [there is] any [great depth of] affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love [toward one another], knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose [and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel—the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ], Philippians 2:1-2.

The best solution to remain above the fray is by developing a Christ-like mind.  Arguments tend to bring out raw emotions that influences human nature to attack, lash out and seek revenge.  Yet, Jesus shares a contrary message, to let God judge the living and the dead.  Jesus had the power to call down fire from heaven as the Son of God, but he choose to live a humble life as a blue collar carpenter.  By taking time every day to meet quietly with God, this spiritual discipline empowered Jesus to carry out God’s will on earth.  When individuals begin to practice Philippians 2:2-5, attitudes will transform toward a heavenly mindset to remain above the fray.

by Jay Mankus

Floundering in the Faith

When a hooked fish is pulled out of the water, self defense mechanisms kick in.  This results in flapping, pulling and tugging trying to escape.  Sometimes Christian face similar uncomfortable environments.  Certain situations force individuals to either sink or swim with many end up floundering in their faith.

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him, Hebrews 11:6.

Comfort zones are nice to have growing up, but eventually you need to leave this place of safety to experience the real world.  Attitudes might deter you, behaviors offend you and language may shock you.  Nonetheless, faith is a series of trials and errors, taking risks, failing and getting back up.  Sitting at home, afraid to fail is like a having a flawed faith.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him, James 1:12.

When you get over the hump, people can begin to take ownership of their faith.  Growing pains develops perseverance, providing opportunities to trust in the Lord and lean not on your understanding.  Unfortunately, its easy to revert back to the past, clinging to former desires of your heart.  This crisis of faith is what Jesus’ brother refers to in the passage above.  If you hold on just long enough, God blesses those who stand the test of time by holding fast to faith in Christ.  Stop floundering and start swimming in the Spirit today!

by Jay Mankus

 

 

An Attitudes Impact

In the ESPN 30 for 30 entitled, the Gospel According to Mac, former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCarthy recounts his quest to bring the Buffalo’s a national championship.  One of the overriding themes involves learning how to motivate each player who respond differently to criticism, failure and mistakes.  During the second hour of this 2 hour documentary, the founding of Promise Keepers is covered through a series of clips from old speeches.  One excerpt includes a quote on attitudes, claiming a person’s attitude is four times more important as their overall talent.

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, Philippians 2:14.

Attitude is one of those qualities which usually remains hidden until adversity arrives.  However, in the heat of the moment, pose is tested.  Attitudes are directly proportional to feelings expressed through body language and words.  Depending upon the individual, stored up emotion can explode, unleashed in the form of complaints, gossip or pessimism.  According to the apostle Paul, this is nothing new as attitudes can impact a group, family or an entire neighborhood.  Like a vulnerable forest in seasons of extreme drought, any spark can trigger devastating fires.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5.

To overcome this potential threat, the apostle Paul believes the cure to this condition lies in the obtaining a specific mindset.  Despite being the son of God, Jesus became humble taking the nature of a servant.  Jesus set the model for what attitude should resemble.  However, this isn’t something you can do on your own.  Rather, transformation begins with faith by grace.  When you place your trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit serves as a counselor to fashion and mold your attitude.  The end goal is to acquire a Christ like mindset.  This may take a life time to achieve, but an attitude’s impact can alter lives for eternity.

by Jay Mankus

 

Constant Friction

Every day in the world friction exists.  This may take the form of an altercation, falling out or squabble.   As individuals struggle to remain in control, attitudes, egos and personalities clash.  This constant friction leaves behind a trail of alienation, enmity and strife.

And constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain, 1 Timothy 6:5.

In this age of enlightenment, minds are open to new ideologies, philosophies and teachings.  Subsequently, sometimes curious individuals seeking answers to the meaning of life will begin to cling to strange new ideas.  Desperate for logical explanations, some will even abandon former beliefs to justify or rationalize where they are spiritually.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ, Colossians 2:8.

Decisions made without thorough investigation can lead to what the apostle Paul refers to being robbed of the truth.  While visiting the city of Colossae, he realized how vulnerable young people are to being swayed by human tradition.  In view of this, before you fully develop and embrace a worldview, follow the principles of 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.  Test everything you hear with God’s word and cling to that which is good.

by Jay Mankus

 

Attitude is Everything

As a child, I remember hearing teachers address specific individuals during class, taking time outside of their scheduled lesson plan.  In the form of an exhortation or rebuke, growing concerns were verbalized.  Subsequently, whenever a student was out of line, the adult in the room proclaimed, “my child you need an attitude adjustment.”

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, Philippians 2:14.

Today, attitudes are displayed through one’s feelings, postures and stances taken.  If you listen to someone’s comments, its easy to ascertain the good attitudes from the bad ones.  Unfortunately, the Me first movement in this age is poisoning souls.  Thus, the selfish will whisper under their breath, “I’ll show them,” turning to revenge over repentance.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things, Philippians 4:8.

As a lack of responsibility is passed down from this current generation to the next, excuses override the truth.  Instead of receiving a harsh talking to or a spanking, parents often ruin life’s teachable moments blaming the critic rather than their child.  It’s no wonder that coaches and teachers are fighting a losing battle.  Attitude is everything, but if maturity isn’t taught to young people, parents will continue to justify and rationalize wrong behavior.

by Jay Mankus

You Have to Seek Before You Can Peak

In the aftermath of Wednesday’s San Bernardino shooting leaving 14 dead and another 21 others wounded, responses poured out in the form of thoughts and prayers.  As 2016 Republican Presidential candidates turned to God for help, democratic leaders used this tragedy to drum up support for gun control and the elimination of the second amendment.  Perhaps, this political difference caused a New York journalist to write, “God isn’t fixing this.”  Unfortunately, the author of this quote doesn’t know one of the most basic Bible principles, you have to seek before you can peak ahead.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well, Matthew 6:33.

During one of the most famous sermons ever recorded, Jesus spends a chapter in Matthew 6 explaining the concept of spiritual etiquette.  Like the present, first century inhabitants were searching for results as well as credit once things improved.  Thus, Jesus brings up proper and improper attitudes and motives.  Listing a few current examples, Jesus exposes the impure.  Essentially, Jesus suggests that prayer, fasting and money won’t change you current situation.  Rather, as soon as individuals make the decision to seek God first, everything else will begin to fall into place within this life.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own, Matthew 6:34.

Unfortunately, the Name and Claim It Crowd, also known as the Prosperity Gospel, have overlooked one crucial word, righteousness.  God’s nature can not exist without it.  Thus, as Christians leave a negative imprint on society, members of the media are doubting the Lord’s ability to fix America’s decaying morality.  True progress lies in an unswerving devotion to trust God for daily bread, basic essentials to survive.  While this mental state is possible to achieve, few have the faith to endure the storms of life.  Therefore, the next time someone tries to limit God’s power, remember you have to seek before you can peek at the blessings the Lord has in store for you in the future, Proverbs 3:5-6.

by Jay Mankus

False Assumptions

The analytical may not always develop the simplest solution, yet the end result makes much more sense than policies created by politicians.  In many cases, adults are treated like high school students, punishing the masses for the sins of a few.  Meanwhile, public service announcements assume that alcoholics, drug addicts and out of control gamblers can change just by listening to an ad.

A psalm of David. I call to you, LORD, come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you, Psalm 141:1.

According to motivational speakers, the key to transforming individuals begins and ends with one’s attitude.  Attitudes are like navigational devices, steering people based upon their moods either in positive or negative directions.  However, if you can encourage someone’s attitude to change, they can turn around their own life.

Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies, Psalm 141:4.

Any plan which neglects attitudes will lead to false assumptions.  Few addicts can and will able to quit cold turkey, able to walk away without ever succumbing to temptations of the past.  Rather, if anyone wants a realistic approach to break free from past demons, pray for a new attitude.  May this journey lead to life altering results.

by Jay Mankus

 

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