Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How's Your Attitude

How’s Your Attitude?
By Sarah Onderdonk
I remember reading that most women regard mascara as a cannot-leave-the-house-without-it cosmetic. It’s lipstick for me. I will no doubt waft off to heaven one day with a nice shade of mocha frost or shimmering pink all over my lips (not my teeth, mind you... this is a paradise fantasy). So when we went to a friend’s Christmas party and I noticed one of the guests, a lovely middle-aged woman with olive-toned skin, wearing a stunning shade of red lipstick I had to comment.
“I just love that red lipstick you’re wearing!” I chirped.
“Revlon ‘Love that Red’!” she chirped back.
“Oh,” I lamented, “if only I could wear red… I think I’m stuck with pink.”
 “No,” she soothed, “you can wear red, too.”
“You think?” I said, contemplating my skin tone which is across between albino lab rat and cement dust.
“It’s an attitude,” she said.
I’ve been thinking about the “attitude” of red lipstick ever since. Really about attitudes in general.
When Christ became my Lord and Savior, I was given the gift of salvation and the promise of spending eternity in heaven with God. The Bible tells me I am a new creation in Christ.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”(2 Cor 5:17)

This verse, written by the Apostle Paul, speaks to a transformation that takes place when we put our trust in Christ. The believer becomes a participant in the new creation made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There’s a change of identity (cf. 1 Cor. 15: 45-49).
What this verse doesn’t say is that in an I-Dream-of-Jeannie “blink” we will be transformed from rusting-fender clunkers to big, stylish Hummers behaviorally.
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
(2 Cor 3:18)
This verse talks about purification as believers become more and more like Christ. Notice the progressive form of the verb (“are being transformed”) and the compound adverb (“ever-increasing”) modifying the word “glory.” The tenses in this verse suggest to us that we are in the midst of a process of becoming more like Christ. While our salvation is secure the instant we put our trust in Jesus Christ, our sanctification—how we grow to resemble Jesus—is a life-long journey.
I love the Bible verses that encourage us to lean on Christ. There's no safer place to be. But leaning on Christ isn’t synonymous with giving up. Or becoming Passive Polly out there flapping in the wind like a slowly shredding flag. We still need to try! All of us have enduring work to do on our attitudes.
Do you carry a grudge? (I do.)
Are you ever prideful? (I am.)
Is your heart pure? (Not mine.)
Do your actions always match your words? (Always? Uh-uh.)
Do you love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?(All of it?)
Do you love your neighbor as yourself? (Depends who you’re talking about…)
These are in large part attitude issues. Matters that go beyond the surface of what we say and do to how we think and feel. I thought about making a New Year’s Resolution this year to work on purifying my heart. But those annual "commitments" are more of a wink and a laugh. So I think I will go to the Lord in prayer on this one… each and every morning as I start the day:
“Dear Lord, help me with my attitude today… so that I might better glorify you… authentically and honestly… from the inside out… in all that I do.”
Sarah occasionally speaks and writes, but mostly runs after kids. She’s pursuing a graduate certificate in Theology and Biblical Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary.

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