Friday, March 8, 2013

Me, Have An Attitude?

Me, Have An Attitude?
Numbers 11:1-3
And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched. And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.

Definition of Attitude: a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person's behavior, a position of the body or implying an action or mental state : the boy was standing in an attitude of despair, his chin sunk on his chest.
• uncooperative behavior; a resentful, hostile, cocky, defiant, negative or arrogant manner : I asked the waiter for a clean fork, and all I got was attitude. 

Do we have an attitude similar to the definition mentioned above? Would we be willing to change our attitude if God convicted us of one or all? Is there an interest in knowing what God thinks about a complaining attitude? Let’s see what the word attitude means and then, what we can do to make a difference in reshaping, remodeling and altering our attitude.

Definition of a Complaining Attitude: to express dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event. The word murmur in the Hebrew language, ragan, means to grumble, i.e. to rebel. Could it be said, that to complain about what God is doing in your life is rebelling against His will? Is there something happening in your life that is beyond your control and you are expressing dissatisfaction or are extremely annoyed with the whole situation? 

The children of Israel were complaining of their adversity ––– “And the Lord heard it” and was displeased or angered by their attitude. We choose our attitudes and the Jews of course, chose theirs. God’s final judgment on their attitude held them accountable for the choices they made. Numbers 13 and 14 tell of the twelve spies that viewed the land of Canaan, two being eager to go forward into the land promised by God and ten who were apprehensive and afraid. It tells how He killed off a whole generation of His children because of their complaining and rebellious attitudes.

Numbers 14:26-30 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.  Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:  Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

The children of Israel were just like us, who, without realizing it, chose attitudes moment by moment and day after day that eventually became a lifestyle. Complaining is a natural reaction that is chosen when things don’t go the way we want.  Sometimes, we don’t hear our own adverse reaction to unpleasant and unfavorable circumstances until it is drawn to our attention and we are confronted with the phrase: “You’ve got stinkin’ thinkin’!”   

Complaining, murmuring, grumbling, fussing, criticizing and griping is a true state of grievance that an unbeliever lives in but it should not be so for those who are called, Christians. God hears our grumbling, fault finding, rebellious attitude and is angered by it.  A critical spirit abuses His grace and breaks the heart of God. If it were not for grace, where would life have taken us? Doesn’t our memory recall the days before Christ and the sin cursed road we repeatedly traveled? What do we have to complain about–––when our God has been so merciful, so gracious, to bestow upon us such amazing love.

What kind of attitude will condemn and control a complaining attitude? The attitude of thankfulness, an expression of gratitude towards the One and True Living God. Replace a bad spirit, a grumbling spirit with words of praise and adoration to the One who is worthy of all honor and praise. Choose to turn from complaining and ask God to forgive your rebellious heart and transform you into the image He desires, a messenger of His grace.  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.  O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.  O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever (Psalm 136:1-3).

Thought: God has convicted my own heart while writing this devotional and encouraged me through His Word  to “put off continually” any complaining or critical attitude and Give thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:20). Also, In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (I Thessalonians 5:18). Thank You, Lord, for Your continuous transforming love that draws my heart to the One and Only, Almighty, and Unchangeable God! 

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