Got an Attitude?
January 28, 1999 • By Ed Wrather
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:4-9.
Paul had an attitude! His attitude was one of rejoicing no matter what. When the letter to Philippi was written Paul was under house arrest in Rome knowing that he could very well be executed. In addition, there were those who were trying to add to Paul's troubles. But Paul was able to rejoice in spite of his circumstances. How? With each difficulty Paul was able to see good coming out of them (Philippians 1:13-18).
Paul could also have joy in spite of people. There were people in the church at Philippi that were causing trouble. There was a false teacher (Philippians 3:1-3) and a division in the church (Philippians 4:1-3). Paul could have joy because he followed the example of Jesus (2:5). Paul said to have an humble spirit (2:3), think about the other person's situation (Walk a mile in their shoes - 2:4), don't murmur and complain (2:14).
Paul had joy too in spite of the lack of the things of this world. Before Paul was a Christian he had “arrived” in the Jewish world. He was the “Hebrew of Hebrews” (Philippians 3:4-8). Those things were actually robbing Paul of true joy. Jesus says in Luke 12:15, “... for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”
Worry was another problem that could have kept Paul from having joy. In Philippians 4:6-9, Paul tells us how to cope with worry. We cope with worry by praying right (4:6-7). We cope with worry by thinking right (4:8). We not only need to pray right and think right but we also need to live right to be free of worry (4:9).
Got an attitude? I hope it is an attitude like Paul's!