I was reading in a airline magazine (which is what you sometimes do in that in-between time before they let you get your laptop out above the clouds)… anyway, I came across an article about Herb Kelleher, the colorful founder of Southwest Airlines. He’s quoted as saying they hired people with great attitudes and would teach them the rest.
Of course, they also looked for certain skill sets. Great attitudes alone won’t get a plane off the ground. But I appreciate the point. Who wants to work around lousy attitudes? (Not me).
Lots could be said about how bad attitudes look and sound, but I’m guessing you are fairly clear about that one. Gossipy side comments that destroy teamwork. The ability to identify every reason why something would never work without once offering a solution. Complaints about management, direct reports, that other department, that other church, that other company.
You get the idea. This sort of attitude drains the life out of a team, a community, and the (un)lucky person working next to such an individual.
Like I said, most of us are familiar with the importance of good attitudes, and most of us would say we want that kind of attitude. But where do they come from? How do you cultivate a positive attitude?
Here’s a place to start: your identity. More specifically, your identity in Christ.
I know I know, everything in someway comes back to this. It sounds so theologically sound. Whoop dee do. But don’t miss it..you need this missing ingredient.
Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone—and see—a new life has begun!
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
Just think about it ever so briefly…
If I’m not confident that the One who began a good work in me is still up to something, I’ll be wary of any new ideas and challenges instead of curious and intrigued.
If I’m not convinced that God endowed me with His very Spirit and unique gifts to put in play, I’ll be threatened by your abilities (which often look nothing like mine) instead of excited by what we could accomplish together.
If I’m not considering God’s grace at every turn, I’ll be frantic. Caught up in trying to prove to everyone how important I am, instead of settling into a grateful rhythm.
If I’m not certain that He will never leave me, I’ll respond to you in fear, instead of faith.
This next stretch of the race, focus on who you are in Christ.
Not with rah rah “look at me” tone. But with a humble posture, eyes wide open. Look at how much God has done for me. How much patience He has for me. How much He has put in front of me. How much of the story is still ahead of me.
Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.
– Galatians 2:20
Soak your thoughts in such things and such scriptures. Notice the old ways and ugly traps that were laid long ago. Start walking around them. Ask for help. Tell a trusted friend. See a counselor. Pray to the God who knows you by name for healing of that attitude from the inside out.
Don’t let a sour attitude spoil the beautiful life God has in front of you.
Take the next step today and watch what happens.
Congratulations. You’re already on your way. One step closer.