Joyce Meyer - The Power of Attitude - Part 1
- How to know Jesus
You can change your whole life by simply changing your attitude. I mean that, you know, you just, maybe you have a self-pitying attitude because your life's been kind of rough. Maybe you have a real negative attitude. You see everything from the negative point of view. Some people, just because of their personalities, are a little more given to that. I would be one of those people that would tend to be that way, but I'm telling you that it can change. I cannot stand negativity now, and I used to be just the opposite. But tonight, I'm just gonna talk to you about attitudes in general and how important they are. And your attitude is your thought life turned inside out. Your attitude is the mental posture that you take toward whatever is happening in your life.
It's how you decide that you're gonna approach it and the way you're gonna think about it. And the attitude that we have, more than anything, the attitude we have in hard times shows who we are and what we really believe about God. We can talk about faith, and we can sing our songs and jump up and down and shout and holler. But we really see what people are made out of when they're going through trouble. And I believe it's God's goal for all of us to learn how to be the same, whether our circumstances are good or they're not so good, believing that he is in control and that things will work out for our good no matter how bad it is, God can make it work out for your good. And if you believe that, and that doesn't mean that we never have things that we don't like or we never, you know, have a bad thought. But, you know, I had a couple of days last week. It's sinus season in Missouri or allergy season.
And so, I've been having some allergy headaches. So, people with my temperament, it would just be wonderful if I would feel real good every day, but, you know, that just doesn't happen, right? I don't understand our bodies, how we can get up one day and feel just so wonderful and get up the next day and just like, "What happened"!? Do any of you go through that? So, it's not just me. And so, I apply my own teaching to my life, just like I tell you to. And so, I got up, and I'm going out to my coffee and I'm like, "Oh, my head hurts. And this is a workout day. And I gotta workout". And you know, I got about that far, and I thought, "Okay, we're gonna turn this around".
And so, I started just thanking God, "Thank you, God, that I can walk. Thank you, that it's only my head that hurts. Thank you, that I can still workout. Thank you for my home. Thank you for my family". And you know what? It only took, I mean, less than a minute, and that all turned around. Now, I didn't tell you that just to tell you a good story. I'm telling you that because I want you to try that the next time you get up and you can feel your attitude going in a wrong direction. I believe that God put it in my heart that there are some of you here tonight that you think you've got all these other problems, but your one real problem is your attitude toward all your other problems. I'mma say it again just in case you didn't get it. Some of you think you've got all these problems. You know, when we have a bad attitude, we tend to want to blame it on everybody and everything.
And you know what that is? An irresponsible attitude. We don't want to take responsibility. How many years did I blame my bad behavior on the fact that my father sexually abused me? And I said, "Well, God, that is why I am the way I am". He said, "Yes, it is, but you don't have to let it be an excuse to stay that way". And, you know, when we've been mistreated, we want everybody, including God, to feel sorry for us. But to be honest, that won't help us get over it. That's an ouchie. And God has given us the answers to how we can turn our life around. And it doesn't do any good to come to something like this, you are wasting your time if you came here tonight and you have no intention of going home and doing what you hear.
We don't need to be proud of ourself because we've got a big library, or we watch so-and-so every morning on TV. We need to pay attention to our behavior, and we need to take responsibility for it. And I'm gonna say it again. Stop blaming bad behavior on: what somebody else is doing to you, what they're not doing to you, what they're not doing for you, what you didn't get as a child, what you don't have now, what your boss isn't giving you. Amen? Some of you, here, tonight, have got all kinds of problems and you're blaming everything on your problems. But it's not your problems. It's your attitude toward your problems that is the problem. Amen?
Now, 'course, the first thing the devil's whispering in your ear is, "Well, you can't help the attitude you have". "I can't help it". That's the biggest excuse we make, "Well, I can't help it," you know? Well, Viktor Frankl was in the concentration camps, and he said, "You can take away every right that I have. But there's one thing you cannot take away from me, and that's my attitude. It's mine. And if I wanna have a good one, nobody can make me have a bad one". Think about that. You know we have really an irresponsible society today, an entitled, irresponsible, childish society. And of course, it's not everybody, but it's getting kind of scary because it's getting to the point where there's more of them than people who are being mature.
And once you're born again, the next thing you do is spend the rest of your life letting the Holy Spirit help you mature because we are predestined to be molded into the image of Jesus Christ. That means the Holy Spirit is not gonna leave you alone until you grow up. And I'm here to help you do that. And it's not easy. And it hurts, but it's better than staying in bondage. I said, it's better than staying in bondage. I'll tell you what. I wasted so many days of my life feeling sorry for myself and I am so glad that I don't have to waste any more of my time doing that. I spent days, wasted days angry, wasted days hating people that had hurt me. I'm so glad. Thank God that I'm free from all that stuff. And you can be too.
Here's the scripture we're gonna base these teachings on this weekend. Philippians 2:5, "Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [let him be your example in humility.]" We'll work on that a little tomorrow. I know none of you need that, but... You'll indulge me and let me talk about it a little. An airplane has an instrument called an attitude indicator. It shows the position of the plane to the horizon. When the airplane is climbing, it is said to have a nose-high attitude because the nose of the airplane is pointed above the horizon. When the aircraft is diving, it is said to have a nose-down attitude because the nose of the plane is below the horizon. Assuming the horizon represents average. We might say that if our attitude is up, we can expect to have an above average life, and if our attitude is down, we will have a below average life.
When an airplane has a nose-high attitude, it climbs. When it has a nose-down attitude, it falls. The same thing holds true with people. When we have an up attitude, we're climbing in life, we're rising, we're succeeding, we're on our way to good things. When we have a nose-down attitude, just the opposite is true. The attitude of an airplane can be changed by the pilot making an adjustment, and we can change by making an adjustment to our attitudes. Ephesians 4:22 says, put on the new man. In verse 24, well, wait a minute, verse 22 says, "Put off the old man". I'm sorry. And verse 24 says, "Put on the new man". But the answer on how to is in verse 23.
You might say it's the bridge scripture that gets us from putting off the old man to putting on the new man. And you know what that means? It means put off the way you used to behave before you were born again and put on Christ. And the way you do that is by daily adjusting your mind and your attitude to the way God wants it to be. Be made new in the attitude of your minds on a daily basis. So, this is not something, you can't just decide tonight, "Well, I'm gonna have a good attitude from now on, in life," and bang, it happens. You'll deal with this. You'll have to deal with it, I don't know, if you're a person that's had a bad attitude, you might have to deal with it a hundred times a day at first. But sticking with it is the answer to change. Do you know that? Sticking with it is the attitude to change. We can't bring a 50-year-old life to God that's loaded with mistakes and all kinds of garbage-y stuff and expect God to change it in 24 hours.
Let's at least give God the same amount of time we gave the devil. Amen? I'll never forget the woman who came to the altar one night, back when my meetings were small enough that people could still come to the altar for prayer. And she put her hands on her hips and she said, "I want my money back". And I thought, I said, "What do you mean"? She said, "I have been giving offerings and I have been doing what you said for two weeks and nothing's changed". It was all I could do not to laugh in her face, really. It was like, "You just don't understand a thing". You give it time. C'mon, give it time. You have nothing better to do than to surrender yourself to the Holy Spirit and say, "Here I am, the mess that I am. Take me, take all of me. And if you can do anything with this mess, go for it". Amen?
John Maxwell says, "You're only an attitude away from success". "It's your attitude, not your aptitude, that will determine your altitude". See, I told you, there's some good one-liners, here. You know, I would much prefer to work with somebody who has a good attitude and is not as skilled. I'd much rather work with somebody like that than to work with somebody that's highly skilled but has a stinky, bad attitude. Amen? So, it's really not our aptitude that gets us promoted in life nearly as much as it is our attitude. Take an attitude inventory. If you could describe your life or your attitude toward life with one of the four following songs, which one would it be? "Make the world go away, raindrops keep falling on my head," "I'll do it my way," or "Oh, what a beautiful morning". Dave sings that song at 6:00, "Oh, what a beautiful morning, oh, what a beautiful day", and I'm like, "Shh". You know, the Bible says in several places, "Sing to the Lord a new song". I think I get it now. Maybe something besides, "Woe is me," or "What about me"? Or "Poor me".
You know what? Everybody just wants to be happy. Isn't that really what we all want? I mean, it's not really the house, or the car, or the husband, or the wife, or the girlfriend, or the boyfriend, or more money. We just wanna be happy. Whatever it is that'll make us happy, that's what we want. And to tell you the truth, a lot of it is attitude. No matter what you own, if you have a bad attitude, well, you won't enjoy it. I mean, you just won't. But you can have practically nothing and have a great attitude and enjoy your life. I mean, attitude really is one of the most important things. Now, I wish that I was one of those people that would have been born with this happy, up, "Oooh" attitude. You know, how many of you know who John Maxwell is? You know, John? Well, he's like that. I don't care what's happening, John's happy. And he told me one day, he said, "I wanna tell you a secret". He said, "It's not because I'm more spiritual than anybody else". He said, "I was born this way". He said, "My dad was just like this and a lot of it is just my personality".
And there are a few people like that. A few. Dave's one of those few. And it's a good thing I got him because if he was like me, we wouldn't have made it 56 years. He's just positive about everything. And you know when I used to be real negative, his positive attitude made me mad. You know why? Because when you're negative, happy people aggravate you. Don't they? "Well, what are you so happy about"? "Nothing to be happy about". 1 Peter 3:14 says, "But even in case you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, [you're] blessed". "Eh?"! "[you're] (happy and to be envied). Don't dread or be afraid of anybody's threats, nor be disturbed [by their opposition]". Do you know most of what the Bible says is the exact opposite of what the world would say? He's saying, "Even if you're suffering for the sake of righteousness, you're blessed".
So, he's saying if you're doing the right thing and it causes you to suffer: somebody's making fun of you, or somebody doesn't wanna be around you, or you get fired from your job, or whatever. He said, "Don't be upset by that. You're blessed". You know why? Because if we are willing to suffer in order to do the right thing, no matter who likes it or what it costs us, God will reward us. And we have way too much fear of man. "Afraid they won't like us". Well, you might be better off if they didn't. Amen? I had a group of friends at one time, and I thought they were friends. And it's amazing how many friends I lost when God called me into ministry. Because back 45 years ago, when I started doing this, there was maybe only a handful of women that anybody could even think of that had ever done this, let alone do anything big. And I lost my friends, got asked to leave my church. It was rough. It cost me. But, man, it scares me to think what would have happened in my life if I would have bowed down to that. I'm telling you, don't bow down to it. Go with God.