In his article, "How Do You Change a Bad Attitude?" Dave Boehi asked for ideas for readers. Click here to read the first 50 emails we received. And click here for the follow-up article inspired by these responses.
51. I've always thought that attitude is a choice. You can choose to be let a bad situation get you down or you can decide that it won't. Don't dwell on the bad; look for the good. I've found that giving thanks in the hard times helps bring to mind the blessings you have already received. There's a reason we're told to give thanks in all things. Have you ever been able to give thanks or praise God without a smile on your face? You don't have power? You still have a generator! You don't have a generator? You still have a house to keep the wind out. Your vacation got spoiled? At least you were home to be better able to deal with the situation with you family (by the way - there are no coincidences!). It's really all in how you look at it.
52. The way I handle my bad attitude is to start counting my blessings. Instead of focusing on the disagreeable at the present, start thanking the Lord for all of your blessings. It works!
53. In answer to your question, begin counting your blessings to put you into an attitude of gratitude. It's a mental decision, a choice that one has to make. As one song puts it, "Count your blessings. You'll find one if you try..."
An attitude of gratitude will make all the difference. There are times when I have a bad attitude about something regarding my husband, but when I remember the blessing that he has been to me, the deeper things that he puts up with from me, the unconditional love that he has shown me since before we married, etc., it begins to deflate my "feel-sorry"/bad attitude.
What I have an attitude about may be something very real and something that needs to be addressed, but having attitude about it isn't going to help the situation. Adding personal subjectivity and blowing the issue into bigger proportions doesn't help to solve it. Acknowledge it is an issue, get the attitude in check, look at all there is related to the situation that there is to be thankful for, and then one can more appropriately carry on/make it through/address the situation/have patience - whatever the situation calls for.
54. For me I recall my favorite passage in the book Love and Respect. The one who breaks the “crazy cycle” is the one that is more mature! So if I have a bad attitude towards my spouse or a co-worker I see it as a challenge to let go of any resentment because after all, I am a mature adult.
55. Here are some of the things that help me when I get a bad attitude:
I count my blessings! Just like the old hymn says, "Count your blessings, name them one by one". No matter what situation I find myself in, there are always so many things to be thankful for, and it's important to be specific. I always begin with thanking God for sending His Son, Jesus Christ to be my Savior. Then I continue to thank Him for the family and friends He has given me, and so on. It is difficult to stay irritable when you are thanking the Lord for all He has done.
I try to recognize that it is in the difficult times that we grow the most. There is a saying, "Whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger". Although this saying doesn't come from the Word of God, there is truth in it. This concept can be found in James 1:2-4 where we are told to "count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations". We can rejoice in our trials and hardships knowing that the Lord is using it to mold us, teach us and make us stronger in Him. As we mature spiritually, we can truly come to the place that we rejoice whether our circumstances are good or bad, whether we are up on the mountaintop, or down in the valley.
Lastly, I try to focus on Jesus Christ and the glory that awaits to all who have trusted in Him. I think about the story of Peter when the Lord called him out of the boat to walk on the water. He was able to walk on the water as long as his focus was stayed on Christ. However, as soon as he looked at the roaring waves around him, he began to sink. We must not focus on our circumstances or we will become depressed, fearful, doubtful. We must keep our focus on Christ and trust in Him to be our refuge and strength.
Dealing with a spouse that has a bad attitude:
This is a bit more tricky as we do not have control over the attitudes and behaviors of others. I have to be careful in this area, as I have tried to control my husbands' behaviors/attitudes and have erroneously believed that I could somehow "fix" him! Don't make that mistake! I have found that becoming angry or pushy with another person only drives them further away and makes the problem worse.
The best way to deal with a spouse that has a bad attitude is to continue to treat them with love and understanding. Be there to listen and let them know you are willing to pray with them, read God's Word together, or do anything else that may help the situation. As a wife, I have come to realize that my own behavior and attitude that I display speaks volumes more than any words I could say. And lastly, never stop praying for your spouse. The Lord hears our earnest prayers for our spouse and He will answer in His time. Have patience and wait on the Lord.
56. I've found the best way to get out of that "funk" that we sometimes find ourselves in is to take the focus off those fleshly desires, not easy when going through the situation, and putting the focus on God, and praise him through the storm. It was very helpful for me to be involved in a church were we had an awesome church family full of people who could pray for us through a time when we weren't able to.
57. Jimmy Evans has a great teaching he does called “The Hurt Whisperer. It outlines coping mechanisms we come up with that may be tied to generational iniquities. Have you considered how long of a line of bad attitudes you have knowledge of generationally? That perhaps you were "bent" that way and have continued in these thought patterns not fully understanding this was passed on to you? In response to your question "has the bible helped me?" the answer is yes. The bible makes it clear that certain curses/iniquities would be passed on to the 3rd and 4th generations. I am learning that we can choose to break those off by recognizing them without blaming our parents bringing it into the light and responding in obedience to Christ. Truth is most people might not consider a bad attitude a generational curse, but the promise of multiplication of it is the part that should cause us to look deeper into the truth. The focus is to recognize and understand where the influence came from (especially when we hear ourselves say things like "I just couldn't snap out of it") and to choose to break it off in obedience to Christ choosing to bless our children/grandchildren to the 3rd and 4th generations. This has not been an easy process, but one we are hoping will yield the fruit of Christ like attitudes because that is what was passed on. Thanks for allowing us to respond.
58. How? I’ve learned to pray, pray, pray. And there are times when I find myself falling back into the “old” way of trying to control the situation myself and then realize that I can’t do this on my own!
59. I must admit that I too struggle with bad attitude. I am one to let my circumstances dictate how I feel. Sometimes getting the right perspective --- like helping others more misfortunate snaps me out of it. Other times hearing the right sermon/lesson helps. Talking with others and getting their perspective helps me with my sometimes narrow thinking. Being around people that support and love me helps me more than anything. When relationships strain during hard times it only makes matters worse. When a bad attitude develops knowing that I have people around me understand and support me helps the most. However, I am not asking for a "pass" in my bad attitude. Sometimes I also need someone to speak truth in to me.
60. Thanks for your transparency. I live in Charlotte, NC and we had about the same situation with Hurricane Hugo some years ago so I sort of “feel your pain”. At any rate, I find the best way to break of out of the crud is to think about how blessed we really are. I know this will sound self-evident but just think about it. At least you weren’t harmed. At least you knew the power was eventually coming back on. What about the people who never had power ….duh. Anyway, the Word says to think on the “good stuff”, i.e. Philippians 4:8-9. Also somewhere in Job it says, “Shall we accept the good from the Lord and not the bad?” I’m still working on all this too so don’t feel like the Lone Ranger.
61. I deal with any negative feelings towards situations by reminding myself that this life was never meant to be perfect – I must therefore live with the eternal hope in eternity spent with Him! Not to say that initial feelings of frustration don’t come up, they do for sure. I actually had a really bad year last year – financially anyways. My business was failing and I am the only source of income at home. I have been a faithful tither and do my best to run my business to honor God but here it was falling apart. Initially panic and fear set in and try to destroy but as I worked to keep things in perspective I realized that nothing can really be so bad that I should be bitter on this earth – I win in the end no matter what!
I also ask what He can do with me through it all rather than why it is happening. So many other bad things happen every day, even if my wife or kids died I would hope I could keep sight of the bigger picture and hold on to the grace that abounds in Him. Our future in Him is secure no matter what this world throws at us. Paul said it – “to die is gain, to live is Christ!”
I used to seek out more practical answers like “count to 10”, “ask yourself if it will matter in 5 yrs, if not then it doesn’t matter now”, etc but all of those kinds of things still left me hungry for something more real. I had to seek God out and really, truly find Him. Once I did that my outlook on all of life changed. If you have a little more time read my testimony – attached. Hopefully you will see what I mean.
62. This is an area that has plagued me through time. I can even put on an air, act as if nothing is the matter yet be upset. Within me I feel an attitude, sometimes displayed outwardly and sometimes not displayed outwardly. I believe my greatest challenge has been with my husband of 25 years. He's a great guy, a very nice guy and perceived by all as a great guy. However, living with him I see where he could do and be so much more. I've shared my thoughts and concerns with him but do not see as much of a change that I think there should be. Most concerns are ones that would improve his health (weight) and others fall in the category of household management.
In continually dealing with various issues referencing the above, I have developed an attitude. How do I deal with my attitude? I first recognize I have an attitude and need to get rid of it. I self-evaluate; what I'm feeling then I try to explore the specific reason causing the attitude as well as how I am reacting to express my attitude.
When I can't seem to easily shake the attitude, I take it to the Lord in personal prayer. Sometimes I cry-out to the Lord which is a comfort. I’ll search the scriptures where God is speaking to me, read His promises, assurance, His love, provisions, and notation of how things are in this world. God's promises comfort me by informing me that ALL IS WELL. His Word informs me that an attitude is unnecessary and gets me nowhere. He gives me things to do, I better way to handle my issue.
I believe that reiterating that the Lord is real, faithful, merciful is a comfort. I then do my best to apply the "Word of God” to the situation and I say to myself, "Let go, let loose, and let God." I try to leave my attitude and issue that provoked it at the cross. I have sometimes put on praise music to sing-along, and enter into the presence of God. I purpose to laugh, make humor and be joyous. Life is short and although I still sometimes get attitudes I purpose not to hold on to it but, to give it to the Lord; "Let go, let loose and let God". Recognize our blessings and be thankful.
63. Focus on the positive, health, family, church, and hope in Christ.
64. Sometimes I look in a mirror and tell myself out loud to STOP. Someone told me recently they do something similar but added they are really asking God to help them get the devil out!
65. This helps me: I recognize I have a choice in whether or not to have an attitude, that's negative. As a choice it's simple. I feel better and am better, with a good attitude . So, I let it go, and empower myself to change. We can't change each other. We can change ourselves,, and that can help others, too. You either get, this or you will continue to experience circumstances, that get you thinking , why me?
FYI, “why” questions seem to come from a childish position, in me...maybe you, too? All I'm saying is to take charge and accept, this is what we have to deal with. Now let’s fix it. And the right attitude sure makes it less challenging than I would imagine. God, has allowed me and my family many blessings, and when things get tough , we like to think about a saying my Dad had. ( I'm like a rubber ball, the harder you throw me the higher I bounce!)
66. Just a couple of thoughts on tude…
Concerning my wife-with-a-tude. After 28 years of marriage I finally learned to give her space and time and she will come out of it. But I’m thankful that she does not have a tude very often. Actually not very often at all. Except for the fact that she is going through the “change of life”. She is on the 4 year plan. At least it’s been 4 years and I’m not sure when the end will happen. LOL
I’m the one that that has the tude most of the time. What God has been showing me the last 3 weeks is, am I striving to be “happy” or “Holy”?
Usually my tude is wrapped around something “I” want or what “I” want someone to do. That involves my happiness not my holiness. If I stop and think that my holiness or my righteousness are nothing and make a conscious thought that Christ’s righteousness is what covers me, it makes and instant change in my tude.
67. We spent my 50th birthday and my dh's 57th birthday, (we're a few days apart) without electricity in a cold house, due to an ice storm, as well. We remained without electricity for almost 2 weeks. (Since we were rural and on well water, that also left us without water.) Right away, we were so thankful for our fireplace, as we knew it could be much worse without it. Although a fireplace (not fireplace insert) only heats not much beyond right in front of it, when the house is bitter cold, we could at least feel some warmth from it by sleeping and sitting right in front of it. We had piles of books we had always wanted to read, so we got through a lot of those in the evenings by the fireplace, sitting under layers of blankets!
It gave us a lot of time for sharing thoughts, as well. We would read something aloud and discuss it. We, too, pondered how our ancestors lived like that all the time...my dad grew up on a farm that didn't have electricity until the 40s, so all of his childhood was without electricity. (he also had an outhouse all those years, too.) For us, that helped knowing if my dad and aunts and uncles could do it, so could we...that it was all in how one looked at a situation.
Counting blessings, like the song goes, helped. We were thankful that we had a roof over our heads; definitely VERY thankful that no limbs had crashed into our house!!; that we had books to read; that we were saving greatly on our propane, and our next electrical bill would be much lower; that we had a fireplace to help create some warmth; each other, so that we weren't enduring it in the house alone; our faith, remembering that Christ was right there with us.
In fact, mentioning Christ...the thought just now comes to mind that He, too, did not have central air, nor central heat, as well. ..in fact, He had no place to call a roof over His head. And He's our Savior...so that definitely makes me feel spoiled, even with an ice storm knocking out the electricity!
Anyway, it is so easy to become irritated and grouchy if focusing on what one has lost...but if one focuses on all that one still has, or all that could have happened...it's much easier to still find ways to enjoy one's self. Some of our very BEST and treasured memories are from that time in front of the fire, reading books together in the evening and sharing re: what we'd just read, or thoughts we had on all kinds of things. :) There's also something just so comforting and peaceful about sitting under layers upon layers of big, thick blankets, reading by the crackling fireplace. And btw, the savings we had from almost 2 weeks of non-use of propane and electricity...we used that to go shopping with, as a way to treat ourselves for what we'd gone through.
58. My mother always told me "Give it up to God". It took many years to catch it, but when we do, we surrender our circumstances and choose thankfulness and choose contentment and choose to "wait upon the Lord".
59. I definitely want to hear the answer to this one. I really can testify to having this in my life more often than I want.
60. I am wondering the same thing myself. I constantly struggle with a bad and angry attitude. I do not know how to break out of it. I cannot enjoy anything. Everything is viewed in the negative. It has taken a toll on my family, my first marriage and now my second and my children. Yet I can't beak out of this. I know rationally I am blessed to be alive and healthy. But I am angered at the place I am in my life. Always jealous of others and their situations and families. I have a terrible family life and am angry and depressed everyday. I do not wish to be the angry old lady but I can't get out of this mindset. no matter what I have done. I pray at church for god to help but there is still no changes. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
61. I recently had a bout with a "baditude" as well! After a couple of weeks with sick kids, Christmas vacation (when all three kids are home) and some physical pains, I was irritable. Coupled with my wife's hard road through menopause (read: men-you-better-pause!) and some things she said in frustration, I was angry. Not the yelling kind, but the slow-burn, close-my-heart, get cold kind.
I have read the Scriptures and done enough counseling in the pastorate to know this is a bad place to be. My wife apologized, but I was not really ready to forgive. After a couple of days, I knew I had to start showing my wife love again. I needed to die to myself and extend grace - whether I felt like it or not.
Love is a decision. So reaching out to give her a hug and doing something helpful for her (again, not because I felt like it) was something I could do - even if I couldn't force myself to have a good attitude and feel differently. As I have seen many times before, its easier "to act my way into feeling than to feel my way into acting".
The bad attitude subsided. The sun came out again. We also realized that after about a month without any private time, we needed time together. (This is another key to preventing bad attitudes, at least in marriage). In the end, my bad attitude was mine to own. There were places along the way where I made subtle changes in mind and ways of thinking that were negative and thus were detrimental to our relationship. I needed to ask the Lord for help, stop being selfish and love my wife as Christ loved me (Eph. 5). Beware the "little foxes" (Song of Songs) of bad attitudes that get in to steal our joy and intimacy with one another!
62. Prayer and more prayer- If I have a stinky attitude, I ask the Lord to change my attitude- Often I’ll meet the same situation a bit later, and I realize I don’t feel the same. And sometimes (since I am a woman) I have a good cry and write in my journal.
63. If I have a bad attitude I have learned through maturing that the attitude can't last long. Making a thankfulness list and praying are key. When someone else has a bad attitude, it must be your goal to not get sucked in. Simply ask them what you could do and then step away. Negativity breeds negativity. Pray for the person and a let them get over it.
64. Here is what I do:
- I repent for not reflecting the love and joy of Jesus and making my life about me and my comforts instead of Him and His glory.
- Put on worship music and thanks him for everything and I meant everything.
- Serve somebody – anybody but get off myself and help somebody else.
- If those steps don’t work I repeat them until they do.
65. Your message is right on point for how I felt today at work. I had a horrible attitude with everybody, and I was constantly grumbling and complaining about everything I had to do. One of our co-workers called in sick, so I had to do my job, her job plus other duties that could've been done by anybody. I open every morning, which I like doing, but the coworker that called in sick closes. Therefore, I ended up being there from open until close.
It was hard for me to shake the negativity because my mind was constantly dwelling on how unfair I felt like I was being treated, but when I began to be thankful that I have a job, and thankful that God blessed me with the knowledge and skills to be an instrumental person on my job, then I noticed a change in my attitude. I was still frustrated, but I was just thankful instead of grumbling and complaining.
66. I have been in celebrate recovery for many years, looking and digging at my attitudes... I’ve only been married almost 3 years. I met my husband in recovery but I’ve worked through the steps and he hasn’t... We were going to divorce at the end of Oct because of attitudes.. I prayed Oct 14th for some thing big to get my husbands attention because I didn’t want to divorce but could no longer live this way...well Oct 15 at 9:30 am my 52 year old husband had a stroke... Today is three months from when he had his stroke…things got worse with attitude...God LED us to a godly therapist and now Terry’s looking keep within why he’s so mean just at home...
67. A member of our church stated that God doesn't always calm the storm you're in but sometimes calms YOU in the midst of the storm.
I have found the peace I needed many times when my mind was in turmoil by going into my "prayer closet", closing the door and kneeling in worship to Him. Sometimes my attitude was so bad or my spirit so heavy that I have not been able to say much but just kneeling before the Greatest One in the world and being silent, allowing His spirit to envelop me with comfort has been enough. Even when I have had to say, "Lord, I've been a jerk", there is always healing, both spiritually and emotionally for me.
Thanks for the opportunity to share. The FamilyLife daily memos are always so helpful to me and I enjoy reading them.
68. My experience is similar to what you wrote about your power outage but it occurred at a different time of year. We live in Connecticut and have occasional power outages as well when a hurricane, snow storm, or heavy rain and snowfall blows through and knocks out power lines and phone lines from falling tree limbs and heavy winds (there are lots of trees in Connecticut). Usually it lasts for a few hours and then the power is restored. Not this time.
I don’t know if this story will help but we lived through hurricane/tropical storm Irene last year and lost power for 5 ½ days. Everything in our home runs on electricity as we live in a rural area. Without electricity we cannot run our refrigerator(s), have no water from the well which means no water for drinking, bathing, cooking, flushing toilets etc.
My sister and bro-in-law were visiting from California on vacation and Irene arrived the morning after they did in late summer. It was hot and extremely windy and we could not run an air conditioner or fan without electricity. I was angry and in a real funk because it was their vacation and first ever visit in the 10 years we have lived here. I really wanted to show them a good time and show them New England but Irene came in and ruined everything. Our fridge(s) was stocked with BBQ meats, drinks, and goodies most all of which was spoiled and had to be thrown out. We had no generator and none were available as all the stores along the east coast were sold out. (I didn’t think we needed one because the power always came back on fairly quickly). We had to collect rainwater to flush toilets and when that was used up we were able to get more from a relative in another town who is on town water (no well). We all also showered there once after being sweaty and dirty for what seemed like a long time.
All the nearby stores and gas stations were closed and we had to travel into Rhode Island to get food, water, or gas and most of those places were also without power and closed. We ate what we could before it spoiled in our fridge and used the BBQ to cook and make hot water for instant coffee. My bro-in-law had really wanted to go to a New England restaurant and have a lobster dinner but all of them were closed in the nearby towns. All in all it was miserable conditions for a about a week. I was not in a good mood as I wanted it all to go smoothly as planned.
My wife and I are Christians and so are my sister and bro-in-law. This was a blessing because it all worked out pretty well after all. We prayed together, talked, laughed, played games, and just “visited together” which hadn’t happened in a long time . My Sis and bro-in-law actually helped us a lot by giving us tips on what to do and how to prepare for a storm before it arrives. They live in the mountains in California and have dealt with many extended power outages in the course of their 29 years living there (and they have a generator). They blessed us with the wisdom gained by their experiences of going through many storms over many years and by their words of encouragement, love, and prayers. I know that lifted me out of the funk, anger, and disappointment I felt. When I look back on it now we had an adventure that we weren’t ready for and got through it all with God and family. If I didn’t believe in God it would have been very different.
Plus now we have a generator and used it during the next power outage that only lasted 32 hours! (Tropical storm Sandy)
69. Chip Ingram did a series a while back about this topic. Also Earl Nightengale was an inspiration to me. He was also a man of God.
- Write down 10 things you're grateful for. Any ten.
- When depressed or bad attitude arises, compliment someone, either verbally, via email, etc.
- Write down 20 items every day that you're grateful for.
- Serve someone something.
- Give someone something. Anything. Go to a store and buy someone something. The giving attitude produces positive emotions which will end depression.
Hope this helps! Great article. Hope you're home is full of electricity and warmth.
70. Firstly, I reference God for direction. I worked on adaption- to live a two ways life – (Abundance/Scare city life) so when any of the situation comes, It will not be a problem but a way of life.
Dealing with the bad attitude of another person
Answer – You have to let the person know that what he or she is doing is a wrong attitude. We have three set of person in this world with different attitudes..
a) Some people are bad they knew they are bad- there is grace for these ones to change from their bad attitude
b) Some people are bad they don’t know they are bad – The chances for grace to change them is slim.
c) Some people are bad they thought they are good – The chances for grace to change them is slim.
With faith in God in all situation, when I found myself in any bad situation I looked up to God for help and direction.
71. I pray asking God to forgive me for having a bad attitude, to soften my heart, & to help me to be the husband, father, brother, son, etc., that He has called me to be. I ask the offended party for forgiveness & try to explain the reason behind my sour attitude. I listen to Christian music allowing the message & God's words to speak to my heart. I think about Bible scriptures which instruct (1) us husbands to love our wives just as Christ loved the church & gave Himself up for her to make her holy and (2) "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." My wife came from a broken family & her dad was an abusive alcoholic. I have to remind myself what a tender flower & what a precious God-given gift she is to me. I want her to feel safe, loved, appreciated & valued in our marriage. Also, I want to serve as a good example to both my son & daughter of what a true Christian husband, father, & family is like.
72. It seems much easier for me to change a bad attitude towards someone other than my spouse. I can better redirect my thoughts into giving them the benefit of doubt, or not be so hurt by whatever was said or happened. I believe it's because I don't have the connection to them as I do with my spouse. Within our 29 years of marriage, we have had a lot of water going under that proverbial bridge. When it comes to husband, it tends to be a lot harder.
We can really push each other's emotional buttons, I can tell you! Sometimes when my bad attitude creeps in, it takes great work to get myself under control. What helps me most is to remember the things I love about by spouse. It can be as simple as recalling the gentleness in his hands when he shows affection to our dogs or cat. There are so many reasons I love him. So, for me to feel a bad attitude toward him weighs heavy on my heart. Prayer helps me immensely. I ask the Lord to help me slow my mind down. I pray for me to be the way I should be, say the things I should say, and behave the way I should behave. I pray for my husband too. But, it is my strong belief that if I am a godly spouse first, my husband will grow in our relationship, and most importantly, in his relationship with the Lord. I want to be his helpmate, not the person that holds him back.
73. I got a bad attitude and now I have daily chest pains. I barely cope with the stress of my life. We r fairly poor and live w/o electricity or running water. My husband is not being the spiritual leader I want him to be. I have been unsatisfied and telling him which does not help. I have 8 kids - 16, 13, 13, 11 (all girls) 9, 6, 6, 1 (all boys). My house is noisy, messy, and ungrateful. I am coping sort of but I think I might have a heart attack soon.
I would love to hear the miracle cure. I have been praying but I feel like the enemy puts just the right amount of pressure at just the right time to make me a daily ugly failure. I am looking for the JOY, but I am not happy.
74. I take a nap and things are always better when I am not tired.
75. Prayer. Simply prayer. It changes everything. It allows you to change your mindset to change and adjust the negative attitude.
76. Hey, praise the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through reading the word of God and repent. Being open minded to the Holy spirit and seeking counsel from His small voice.
77. Listen to a sermon online. There are thousands of incredible messages out there that can be turned on at any moment. Turn on Christian radio or CDs. PRAY PRAY PRAY!!
Funny I read this article this morning, as my husband would tell you I was in a cranky mood as I finished defrosting our freezer last night. I solicited he and my daughter’s help which got the job done sooner and relieved the grouchiness, but guess who it filtered onto the few remaining hours of the evening. Should have tried my tips!!
78. If I am angry at my husband I give my anger to Jesus and ask Him to deal with it. I also ask Him to bless my husband. By asking Jesus to take the anger from me I know He will do the right thing with it and it is no longer my responsibility. This goes a long way in helping me regain a good attitude and move toward forgiveness and peace.
79. About the bad attitude? I recently had that circling in my head over being negative and judgemental over a person and circumstances. I didn’t like it and sat in my car and thought…what do I actually do about it. So, I prayed, God help me change this. Then, the idea came to me to list the ugly: pride, critical attitude, jealousy, judgmental thoughts.
Then, I listed the opposite of them: humility, kindness, thankfulness for what I have, generosity of thought. Then I knew that verses could come to mind and I could look up that would plant those things in me. I sought them out and am working on focusing on them all the while asking God to do his thing of bringing mercies, graces, changes in perception, joy, etc. that would seal these things.
80. I find that reminding myself and others of the blessings we have help to get over that bad feeling. The other thing that helps is to get out and help someone else in worse shape than you. Helping others gets our focus off of ourselves and on to higher thinking.
81. I think a bad attitude is really anger in disguise. The only way to overcome anger is to assess what it is you are not getting, who is preventing you from getting it and forgive and pray for that person. In your case, pray for the power company service providers. Perhaps turn your pity party inside out. Instead of focusing on self, think about those workers out in the cold working 24/7. Be on the lookout for them and provide them with hot beverages and snacks. Go door to door and see how your neighbors are surviving the storm and if you can be of any service. God provided the storm, which provided opportunities of service and ways to connect with neighbors that you might not have had otherwise. If you want to be frustrated with anybody than it should be God. God is good all the time and all the time God is good.
82. As for me and my marriage, I pray for me first. I pray that God will give me the words that my husband needs to hear to alleviate his mood and stress. I also pray for patience, courage and strength to keep moving forward in the loving way that I would expect my husband to do for me if I were in his "sour mood". I then pray for my husband. I pray that God transforms his heart and his mood so that things can go well with him, no matter who and what he's dealing with.
83. I am in a situation similar to what you wrote about. I just got a notice that after trying to help a fellow Christian’s son with a job at my company that we were sent a notice that his son is suing our insurance carrier. Without going into the issue it has brought me to believe that I am focusing too much on our church and not enough on God. I have long used the passage about Peter when he stepped out of the boat and started to walk to Jesus. But as he was doing this he started to sink because he was walking on the water as was the Lord.
We have a great church and a fantastic Pastor who preaches directly from the Bible and is not a “feel good preacher”. Over the years I have gotten very involved in our church. I have been on the Board for over 8 years and have been the head Stuart for the same amount of time. I am an Electrical contractor so I do quite a bit of work around the church. The Pastor and his family and ours are basically an extended family together. If something were to happen to my wife & or me they said that they would take care of our girls. They are very active in our family and ours in theirs. I am just feeling that I may be looking at too much of the stuff around me and not focusing on God. I am starting to question whether God is telling me that I need to move on or is it that I should stay.
84. The very first thing I do is to ask God to reveal to me why I have the discontent in my heart. I ask Him to shine his light into my heart to illuminate any darkness that may be lurking there. So often, for me, there are unmet expectations that lead to these feelings. As I press in and pray about it, God will reveal it and also guide me as to how to release this to Him. I have a tendency to exert my control over situations and have my own agenda...this only leads to frustration and a resulting bad attitude. When I release the control to Him and TRUST Him in every situation, He will guide my path. Thank you for your articles...they are a blessing!
85. I try to focus on God and see the good that he doing and hard time like you with no power. My family I went two week with out power when a hurricane came through. The kids where small and they were scared of dark and we had flashlight on and when battery die they woke up. Plus one of them was sick. But God came through with extend family and friends who open up there home so we could take showers and charge our cell phones and laptops up. Gave us meal to eat. It was rough bit the cool thing God did on my son birthday the power came back on. He thought it was the coolest birthday present to get. I hope this help.
86. It would seem to me that some times you just have to yell out to the Lord for help.
White knuckle it for a few weeks, this holiday season I went to the health food store and got something to calm my nerves. I did not want to be on anti-depressants I just needs something to help me be calm enough that I could think straight and listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit.
I also ended up calling a Christian counselor and ask to have a few sessions with him.
I am raising my 16 year old granddaughter and I am over 60 years old. Two weeks with her out of school, laying around all day doing nothing while I was at work. Running around till 10 pm each night with her boyfriend just about drove me nuts. Thank the Lord school was only out for 2 weeks but I still have many issues that need to be resolved.
That's my story and the Lord knows I need help to cope at this time in my life. Praise be to God!
87. The thing that comes to mind for me is how long it has taken me to get to a place for me to be self-observant enough to be able to step back and realize when I have a bad attitude. That not only takes maturity in the moment, but it takes humbleness to purposely push out my pride and analyze why am I letting this affect me so much? That is the most difficult part.
But once the Lord's grace allows me to do this I am able to look at the situation and separate out what is in my control and what is not in my control. In something like lost electrical power in a snow storm I am able to separate and tell myself, "It is not within my power to fix this, so we must wait on the generosity and work of others- they're doing the best that they can."
But another situation, like getting home and seeing that my house is an utter disaster- I know that I either fully caused this, or at least played a large part in it- It is harder to relinquish that frustration. But just like when Samuel sat in emotional grief for several days after Israel yet again turned to idols just after watching the miracles or God, Samuel had to find the gumption to get up, say to himself, "the world will go on" and he kept serving the Lord the best way he knew how.
It's that moment when I get so tired of being sick and tired of my situation, my dirty house, my crazy family, etc that I feel that I am forced to choose either to let this thing or situation either paralyze me for the rest of my life (the rest of the day or the rest of the week) or I can choose to overcome and starting acting in a way to fix the very situation that I detest. It's not easy, but when I find myself at that fork in the road, I find more rewards in choosing that I can change or persevere through my situation, rather than sit in grief forever.
88. There was a time a few years ago when I was the one with the sour attitude. I thought I had the school year perfectly planned. I had two kids in preschool and one in Kindergarten. Preschool was 2 or 3 mornings a week and Kindergarten was still half a day; my daughter went in the afternoon. Staying at home should be easy right? I would have all morning to spend with my kindergarten child; you know, some one-on-one time. After all, this was the last year I would be able to spend so much time with her. And my afternoons would give the opportunity to be with the other two. What I ended up finding out was I had virtually no time to "get anything done."
By the time breakfast got cleaned up, it was time to start making lunch so we could get the younger two from preschool and still be on time for the bus. Laundry took forever. Grocery shopping always had to be done with at least one child. I know you are asking if I had help. Yes, I have a husband and he is actually very helpful. Especially when I see so many other husbands. Many times he would help fold those last one or two loads of laundry, make dinner etc.
The fact is having 3 children in less than four years was tough and I just needed to not let it get me down with a sour attitude. I even got to hate, yes I used the word "hate," putting the clean laundry away. At least it was clean, right? I would get interrupted with tiny disagreements, snack time, potty time for the youngest, then the kindergartener would be home from the bus, etc. To make it worse, I was the one that planned it that way. I came to the realization not to expect as much of myself. If I couldn't get laundry done in one day a week, I planned two days a week. When I put the clean laundry away, I would pray for the person whose laundry I was putting away. I would pray for their health, safety, abilities, friends, future husbands (LOL), etc. I actually didn't mind putting laundry away anymore.
While cleaning up the kitchen or house, I would think of all the blessings and positive things about our family. We can afford for me to be home with our kids which is actually something I never thought that I would be interested in pre-children. I am not saying that the year I so carefully planned wasn't tough, because it was. But it was easier to get through it realizing and emphasizing the positive instead of the mundane negatives.
89. For me, I sometimes find this a struggle as well...whether my poor attitude is toward people, circumstances, etc. Sometimes I am successful at overcoming, and sometimes not. For me I try several things, the main one of course is to refocus. The less I focus on whatever is causing my bad attitude, the more I am inclined to be able to come back with a fresh attitude and solve the issue if it needs solving, or to move on if that's what's needed.
I attempt to refocus doing many things such as prayer, counting my blessings in my life, reminding myself of how I am truly blessed despite current appearances. I listen to worship music which encourages me. I spend time doing something I love, which for me, the best is hoseback riding. On my horse's good days its my quiet time with God and refuels me to deal with my circumstances. On my horse's not so great days its a little extra exercise above our normal exercise that comes with riding which often helps to burn off the stress lol! Sometimes, I just need to talk it out with a friend who often brings me back lovingly with a reality check and a good listening ear.
Many times these things work, other times such as last week even my attempts to refocus are met with challenges increasing my stress load. In those moments I simply prayed through and reminded myself that tomorrow is a new day, and I won't finish this one alone. It didn't necessarily make my feelings go away, but it did help me to manage my attitude and do my best to correct it and survive the week.
90. I have been here many times and am still learning as well. Some ways I get a grip, so to speak is remember (unfortunately) that there are people who are worse off. Ex. You may be sick with cold or flu but someone is deathly ill just basically "waiting to die". Or remember its temporary. You know that whatever you are going through won't last forever in fact usually we only go through for a few days or maybe some weeks.
GOD is so merciful! Last thing I try to do is remember that usually if I focus on the problem it lasts longer, but if my focus is on prayer, praise, and GOD's Word then it doesn't stay as long or at least I'm not bothered by it as much. Hope this helps! God bless!
91. Quite the challenge, but what we are to do biblically should always apply....
- Deny yourself - don't allow yourself to dwell on "you" and how bad you have it, how miserable your feel.
- Take every thought captive-the original thought or feeling isn't the sin, it is what you do with it. Will you let this thought/feeling take control of you, or will you take it captive and change your focus to WWJD (what would Jesus do) and FROG (fully rely on God)
- Follow the mind of Christ and take action-think about what Christ would do and take action on it, minister to others, pray for others, praise God, give thanks for what you do have.
These steps of Christian life are really hard to follow at times, but always apply. Sometimes the thoughts/feelings return two minutes later and we have to refocus again (and again and again and again) and put our priority where it needs to be, not on self, but on Christ and how are attitude and actions should be a reflection of Him to others. What do we want others to see, me or Christ? (Why am I here on earth anyway, but to honor Him and be a witness for Him.)
Think about why we are here and what purpose God would have for us at that very moment…to let Christ shine through our mortal bodies and be evident to the world. How can I do that at this very moment? The more we practice this, the easier it should become. I certainly haven't gotten there yet, but hope that my "self" times are becoming less in length and improving, that I am becoming more like Christ with each trial I go through.
92. The first thing I do is laugh. I think of something silly my children or I have done and laugh with the memory. It helps me to break the funk of the negative spirit that's upon me. Then I think of how good God is, how good He is to me. I think of what I do have and give Him the praise. There was a time I was without electricity in the winter but it wasn't because of a natural storm. It was a spiritual storm for me. I had just gone through a divorce, lost my job and finances were low, too low to pay the electric bill. It was shut off during an ugly storm. My kids were with their dad for his two weeks so I was thankful that they didn't have to endure that with me.
It was then, when I was alone in the dark and cold that the enemy spoke to me. I heard him clearly say, "see how your God treats you! You walk to church in every type of weather, pay your tithes instead of your bills and this is your reward. A cold empty house." For a moment I felt the venom of that spirit try to enter into me and I immediately shook it off and spoke out as if he was standing in the room with me, "Yep, I do see! I could be out in that cold wind and rain but my God has blessed me with a roof over my head and protection from the elements. Now isn't my God good!"
I tell you that the spirit left and I just began praising Him. So my advice to you when a bad attitude comes upon you, think of how God has been good to you, smile and laugh and I'll bet the attitude will fade.
93. Studying the book of Habakkuk – particularly “Lord, Where Are You When Bad Things Happen?” by Kay Arthur. Habakkuk’s situation doesn’t change from the beginning to the end of the book but his attitude sure does.
94. This was a timely article as I think we all faced the temptation of a bad attitude when the electricity was out for so long.
We had just returned from 48 hours of travel on our way home from Thailand. We returned not only to a cold house with no electricity, but we’d had a pipe burst under the sink that flooded the kitchen, living room, bath and laundry rooms. Bummer. But perspective certainly helped in this situation. We spent 3 nights in a refugee camp when we were on the Thai/Burma border. We went into the camp to do a Christmas party for the kids there. They gave us their very best in accommodations, but on a scale of 1-10 for camping, it was a 1. Yet the kids themselves were delightful. We also gave out Christmas presents (basically hygiene packs with soap, toothbrushes, etc) to migrants living in huts made of pieces of tin, old tarps, bamboo and leaves—and they were incredibly grateful.
So whenever I started to feel sorry for myself, I was reminded of how good I have it. Even though our house will be a mess for the next few months, eventually I will have a new kitchen and insurance is paying for it. And the people we met from Burma will still not have a birth certificate or a passport or the right to work or healthcare or enough food…and the list goes on.
95. We live in Clarksville, AR. We drove to Little Rock Christmas afternoon to see family. My wife, my oldest daughter (29), our middle daughter (26) and our son (25) stayed at our son's home. My wife was very tired and stayed home to prepared dinner while the kids and I went riding around in the snow in my jeep. About 30 minutes after we left, the power went out. Fortunately the ham we had was fully cooked, even though it was luke warm. We also had some salad and crackers. We lit candles and had some flashlights. My wife was tired and cranky. I was cold. One thing that helped with the attitude was when the kids said this was one of their best Christmas' ever. Maybe our attitudes can improve when we feed off of others with better attitudes.
96. I remind myself that things could be worse. If I'm having a bad day, I praise God that I'm not laying in the hospital with cancer or dying of a terminal disease. If I'm doing something I dread such as laundry, I remind myself that there are people in wheelchairs who would give anything to do what I'm doing. Prayer, prayer, & prayer. TLC for myself. Typically my bad attitude comes from a pity party, so I do something special for myself, even if it's small, or going and doing something for someone else helps.
97. I find that several things help me leave a bad attitude behind. One is stopping to sit alone for a few minutes and think about why I have this attitude. When did my attitude change? Did I wake up this way? Did I have this attitude at lunch? I keep asking questions to myself to find out what happened. Just knowing what went wrong and when can help me move on.
Once I know what happened, I need to think it through. Sometimes I have to deal with some sin or just realize I don't have control over a situation. Then, confession or acknowledging God's control might be appropriate. If I at least see the truth about the situation, it gives me a place to focus when I find my bad attitude gripping me again.
Also, I have prayed a lot for perspective. I have three young children and the oldest and I tend to butt heads a lot. When I start feeling an attitude from one of us, I have to ask God quickly for help to believe that this situation will not end badly, that it won't ruin my day. So in this case, prevention is often the best cure. Inviting God into the situation helps me feel I am not in it alone and it can end in peace.
98. That sounds like a rough few days without power. My aunt and uncle are FamilyLife people who live in Arkansas too. They told us they experienced the power outage as well. In response to your article on a bad attitude, I'd like to recommend being thankful. In the midst of difficult situations or poor attitudes, God still has blessed us more richly than we deserve. In fact, in writing to the Thessalonians, Paul states it is directly God's will for us to give thanks "In everything" (1 Thes. 5:18). I believe that thankfulness is the antidote to complaining and envy. It's a law God wove into the world at its foundation.
99. I try to remember to “Give thanks in everything.” Sometimes, that’s not easy at all, however…but I try!
When my head hits the pillow at night, I usually start out my prayer with thanking God for a roof that doesn’t leak, a comfortable bed, no bugs(!) in my bed, clean sheets, a comfortable temperature to sleep in (whether that be A/C, heat, or just beautiful weather).
100. I think first and foremost, our personalities dictate so much of who we are and how we act and I have, in general, a positive outlook on life. I think it is this in addition to an attitude of gratitude that gets us through the tough times. Also helpful is getting over yourself and realizing that so much of life is not about you and the sooner you learn that, the more you can enjoy life, help others, etc. Putting things in perspective is also enormously helpful. So, when faced with difficult, challenging situations, whatever they may be, remember to put things in perspective, remember how blessed you are ( gratitude), think positively, and cry if you need to!
Of course, none of this works to its fullest without faith. Learning to let go and let God is so fundamental to getting through tough times. Trusting Him, obeying Him, seeking Him. He is our Higher Power. He is our strength. He is our Light.
101. Boy, I know I have bad attitudes sometimes. But I think one of our best ways to fight this is to pre-empt it. Realize what circumstances tend to hatch a bad attitude in yourself and prepare in advance for these circumstances by realizing that whatever God brings your way is in His plan. What He does in your life is for your best, and you should trust in Him rather than resenting your circumstances, other people, etc. Commit to react to situations and other people using attributes that God models for us and calls us to, rather than in our typical fleshly response. In doing so, we are growing in Christ and being transformed into His image. If you start to react with a wrong attitude, quickly catch yourself and nip it in the bud quickly, before it takes full root! Think about how God would react in the same situation.
102. This verse is from Ecclesiastes 7:8-9: “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.” I got this verse back in the fall on my daily bible verse. I thought - that is something to live by. So that evening I shared this with my wife and children. Thinking back I see how God worked in my life for years without me knowing this verse…however, sometime there are situations that come up and you are quick to think doom and gloom “how in the world will I over-come this ordeal…”
Here is a real-life situation that I wanted to share with you. I got some University of Tennessee football tickets from a friend of mine – free tickets but upper deck. My 14 year old son and I are planning a day at the game - just me and him. We get to our gate about 40 min before the game and our 2 tickets won’t scan. The gate attendant and supervisor at the gate says that the tickets had been re-printed that morning. Then they asked me are you the season ticket holder?…I said NO…They tell me that only the registered season ticket holder with PHOTO ID can get them re-printed - sorry you can’t get in!!!…but go to the main ticket office and explain your problem.
So we hike back around the stadium to the main ticket office. During that time I tell my son that whatever happens we can always watch the game at home on TV…then I remember this verse “better is the end of a thing than its beginning”. So I tell my son there’s a bible verse that tells us as Christians to stay calm don’t get angry the end will be OK…He says “stopping to eat and watching the game at home will be OK…” God has blessed me with wonderful children!
We get to the main ticket office and see a guy that looks like he might be in-charge. I tell him our problem … that these tickets won’t scan and for some reason the guy at our gate says they have been re-printed. He takes us over to a will call window and has a college coed wait on us… So I explain our problem for the fourth time to her (not the slightest bit of anger in my voice because we know God will make it OK. She steps back and talks with another supervisor and comes back and asks for my ID.
Then she is gone for about 10 min and comes back and says, “We don’t know what happened with your tickets.” I’m thinking her next words will be “enjoy the game at home - it’s on TV”. But she says, “Here are some tickets - they will get you in the gate. Enjoy the game.” We circle back around the stadium thinking wow, we were blessed with this outcome – Thank-you God. More blessing to come – these tickets were on the 50 yard line, 16 rows up. Wow what a blessing. You may ask – so how did the game turn out? Our team lost but great character building day for me and my son.
103. We can relate to no power. We went through Hurricane Sandy. Even though we had minor damage, we were without power for 4 days. But yet, we saw God move. A friend brought over a generator for us and others to share. We also had a healing with a neighbor that we have not been getting along with. So even in times of no power and attitudes that were not always God ordained, He moved anyway!!
104. Abraham Lincoln said it best, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their mind to be." Also, the fruit of the Spirit is "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control."
105. I had a struggle with bad attitude over Christmas 2011. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out well. I spent many days and nights crying and wrestling with being positive. I called family and friends and prayed constantly for God's intervention. There were arguments and strife, but ultimately God used the experience to begin a healing process. Not what I expected, but what I needed. I made mistakes in handling my bad attitude, but God used that to bring about healing that needed to happen in both my life and my husband's life. Prayer was the best thing I could have done to handle a bad attitude.
106. Great article and definitely one of the tougher challenges in life to address. About 10 years I found myself very unhappy with my marriage. I found it a burden that was just sucking the life out of me. Through lots of prayer and self introspection I realized my mood & feeling would usually reflex what I was focusing on. If I didn't like an aspect of my marriage that was what I focused on and soon my whole perspective was that my marriage wasn't very good.
Slowly over time I started choosing to focus on the great parts of my marriage. My attitude changed and so did my marriage. Not because my wife was doing anything different, but because I now viewed the positives. Another key aspect to making this work was depending on God. If firmly believe that He softened my heart and gave me the grace to make this change. This may sound a bit simplistic, but for me taking this approach and leaning on God has been trans-formative not only in my marriage but in all areas of my life.
107. I sometimes get real cranky and chew out my daughter and wife. I get unpleasant to be around. I have a short fuse and little things set me off. As a "Christian" I don't swear and yell but I can be hurtful and cutting in what I say. For me the first step is God lets me know I am being cranky. That what is setting me off is me, not them. I then try and step back and look at things and reconsider if I am being unreasonable or if the situation does merit my comments that try to put some one in their place. Normally I am the one wrong. I have to pray and ask God to forgive me and then ask the same thing of the people I just attacked. It helps me to tune down even more. Sometimes I need to go for a walk and talk with God about my attitude and let Him calm me down or cool me off. I do appreciate your family file devotionals.
108. That's a tough question! I think it's tough because, if you're the one with the bad attitude, the first step is that you have to realize it. Many times I think it's easier to just blame everyone else for the stuff going on than to take a step back and say "maybe I'm contributing to the drama in this home."
Furthermore, if you are the one with the bad attitude, then you need to allow God to change it and surrender that attitude. Be honest with Him and tell Him to show you why you have that attitude and what you need to surrender to Him. I think everything about a Christian's life is about surrendering and having a willing heart. When you close your heart off to listening to God's voice and allowing Him to change your attitude, you're on a quick road to negativity.
If it's the spouse that has the bad attitude, I tend to be blunt and ask him what's going on. I try to just make him realize that whatever is going on inside of him is now affecting the rest of us at home. I'm grateful that I haven't had to do this often and that he's always taken a step back and realized that he's usually just cranky because of something going on at work.
It is hard, though, when life seems to be unfair...I've always thought that moments like those just show us who we really are and that prayer is the key to accessing God's transforming grace...