From the Preceptor Archives
Had An Attitude Crash?
Warren E. Berkley
Have you ever had an attitude crash? Here’s what I mean. Things build up. You begin the day not feeling well, then everything that happens seems to make you feel worse. You keep doing what you have to do, but there is the ugly mess growing inside you with every additional pressure and stressful event. It may be compared to having a bucket inside you. The bucket can contain only so much junk, then it happens. You have an attitude crash which may express itself in an explosion of vile language, treating someone with conspicuous coldness, violence, indifference to someone trying to get your attention, a rash statement or insult, or just walking away from your present responsibility. This could be called an attitude crash. I don’t believe there are very many people who can claim they’ve never had one. What kind of Bible teaching might be applied to this common problem?
- I need to understand at the beginning of every day – the devil wants my attitude to crash. He will attempt to maneuver and seduce me into this, because he knows it will achieve his aim, which is to pull me away from God and into sin. It will help for me to get up everyday knowing I have such an enemy, and watch for his wiles. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (1 Pet. 5:8,9).
- I need to realize that the closer I stay to God, the less likely such a crash will occur. I stay close to my God through prayer, Bible reading and study, meditation and good association with His people. If I worship with the saints on a regular basis, that will help. In that collective worship I need to be sincere, involved and reverent. As I grow in diligence and participation with God and His will, I actively prevent an attitude crash. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!” (Psa. 119:11).
- My great spiritual leader never had an attitude crash! Jesus “committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth … when He was reviled, [He] did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.” If I am a Christian, He is “the Shepherd and Overseer of [my] soul,” (see 1 Pet. 2:22-25). It is amazing! Under all the pressure of ridicule, violence, illegal trials, false accusations and then a painful death – He “did not revile in return!” He is our example, our leader and the overseer of our souls.
- As I read and study the New Testament, I am warned to monitor my attitude constantly. I am to “be renewed in the spirit of [my] mind, and … put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” I am taught to be angry but “do not sin,” neither “let the sun go down on [my] wrath, nor give place to the devil.” In this same passage: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” And “let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you,” (see Eph. 4:23-32).
- I do not have to sin! “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it,” (1 Cor. 10:13).
- The love described in 1 Cor. 13:4-7 is another preventive measure I can take. If I suffer long; if I’m kind, not envious and not puffed up, this behavior keeps me from an attitude crash. If I refrain from rude behavior, avoid provocation and think no evil, this helps keep my heart pure and calm. If I have decided not to rejoice in iniquity, but to rejoice in the truth, these are the qualities that keep me from the crash. Watch out! Don’t surrender to an attitude crash.