When my daughter, Charity was little, she loved to help me with household chores. It was a delight to watch her chubby little fingers struggle to fold laundry just like me. I can recall a time when she took her daddy’s shirt from the basket, pointing out to me it was the one she and her brothers had made for Father’s Day. Her brows scrunched together with each deliberate fold, taking extra care. Next, she pulled out her oldest brother’s little league baseball shirt, running her fingers over the numbers before folding and laying it next to the others.
As I watched her, I said to the Lord, “I wish I could have Charity’s joyful attitude about doing simple chores.”
God said to me in my spirit, “What you need is Charity’s perspective. Perspective has the power to change the attitude.”
Perspective has the power to change our attitude.
I thought about how our attitudes play a big part of how we experience life.
Have you ever known one of those people who just seems to have a joyful disposition and overall positive attitude about life? They are the ones that see the glass as half full rather than half empty.
Seeing the glass as half full is a matter of perspective which in turn affects the attitude. That makes sense, right?
Hmm. I wouldn’t mind having some of that. But as someone who tends to be more critical, how was this possible?
The answer, of course, could be found in God’s word—in God’s Son to be specific.
What is Jesus’ perspective about life, about mundane chores, about this world filled with depravity and hate?
And what kind of attitude did Jesus display when he lived on earth and dealt with such things?
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had: Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8
Reading over the red letters in my Bible (Jesus’ words), something profound and yet so simple occurred to me. He came, He lived, and He died for the same reason. Having the same perspective and the same attitude.
The Jesus perspective is one of love.
That was certainly Charity’s perspective, motivation, and attitude. She loved me and wanted to help me. She loved her family and found joy in doing something to demonstrate her love. What I saw as mundane, in her eyes, was a chance to serve and love. I find it interesting that her name means love (insert smile here).
But Charity was a child and had not yet experienced the disappointments and the pain which can wash over us like ocean waves, breaking us down until we see life as a series of struggles.
Maybe this is why Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So, anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
How do we return to this childlike humble faith?
It isn’t possible on our own. To have a Christ-like perspective and attitude, we need Christ Himself. For anything we try to do on our own has no real value (John 15:5).
We must “line ourselves up” to Christ and His ways.
Self-Realignment to Gain Christ’s Perspective
Lord, Jesus I want your perspective and attitude. Please empower me with your Holy Spirit to see things like You.
- Think about what you think about
We are shaped by our thoughts. Our thoughts reflect our hearts. We become what we think.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23
- Renew your mind
What we think creates what’s known as neural pathways in our brain. Over years and years, they become very stuck and deeply embedded, moving into deeper portions of the brain.
The One who created our brains can help us develop new neural pathways.
“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Romans12:2
Remember, we must read His Word and apply it in order to change.
Interestingly, the way to a Jesus perspective and attitude is found by giving up control.
“So, I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.” Galatians 5:16
When the Spirit controls our minds, we can expect these results: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)
We have two choices: allow the Holy Spirit to control our minds or allow the sin nature to control our minds.
When the sin nature is in control, here is what to expect: “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
There are many things in life that we cannot change or control. But for most of us, this does not include our attitudes. Our attitudes are something we can usually control.
If we want to have the Jesus perspective in our lives, we must submit control of our attitude to Him. Listen, this isn’t a one-shot deal. Just like our cars need an alignment, we do too. Our attitudes can get thrown out of alignment by circumstances on a regular basis. Therefore, we must live attached to the vine of Christ in order to identify when we have allowed something to throw us off course.
When Christ is in control of our attitude, the byproduct is His perspective which is love. And love isn’t just an emotion. Love shows. Love does.
Is your love showing today?