By Joe Chesser
This is the time of year when the wind chill factor is important. Most of the time wind chills are merely a nuisance. We have to hold our coats tighter. We put scarves around our faces. We dart more quickly into and out of cars and houses and stores. But there are times, especially in the northern states, when knowing the wind chill factor can be a matter of survival. The cold and the wind can be deadly.
In the summertime it’s just the opposite. We welcome the effects of the wind blowing in the summer heat. Without even a gentle breeze, the summer heat, especially in the southern states, can be stifling. How pleasant it is when you are hot and sweaty from working outside in the summer to feel the coolness on your skin that a gentle breeze brings.
In both of these cases, what the wind does is to take what is naturally present, the temperature, and turn it into something either helpful or harmful. The temperatures don’t change; just the way the temperatures feel changes. In the winter, the temperature feels worse; in the summer the temperature feels better.
Our attitudes work in a very similar way on the natural circumstances surrounding us. Our attitudes can make any situation feel better or feel worse. The circumstances may be unchangeable, but the way we view them or react to them is entirely dependent on us. A good attitude “blowing” on bad circumstances can make them much better, while a bad attitude “blowing” on the same set of circumstances can make them seem much worse.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Prov. 17:22). We all know how much our attitudes affect our physical health. In a much greater way, our attitudes affect our spiritual health. In fact, our attitudes affect everything in our lives. How much more pleasant would driving be without road rage? How much happier would our homes be if there were no griping and complaining? How much more Christ-like would our churches be if we didn’t take every opportunity to be offended? How much better could we handle disasters and setbacks if we had the attitude of Christ?
Jesus came to earth to make it possible for our sins to be forgiven. He also came to show us how to live transformed lives. He didn’t come to make the world a better place to live, but to help us live better in the world around us. A part of His plan included changing our attitudes for the better.
Here are some scriptures that can help you have a better attitude: Rom. 12:2; Phil.1:27-28; 2:3-5, 14; 4:4, 6-7, 8-9, 13; Col. 3:17, 23; Hab. 3:17-18. God bless you in 2014.
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.