Do You Need a New Attitude?


Murder… that seems to be what good mysteries and drama are made of. Why are we so fascinated by this terrible sin of violence? I have to admit that my favorite books genre for pleasure reading are murder mysteries as well. I like to figure out the puzzle and have justice meted out at the end. Why do people kill another human being? Sadly, this has been a part of human history since the beginning of time.

J. Warner Wallace, a veteran homicide detective and co-founder of the Torrance, California, Police Department's cold case unit, who has been featured on Dateline, says that all homicides spring from financial greed, lust, or the pursuit of power.

When we read the book of Genesis in the Bible, we can better understand sin and it’s affect on humankind throughout the rest of the Bible. There are vital clues, in chapter 4, the murder of Abel, to what is at the root of the destruction of all relationships between human beings.

We aren’t told the exact reasons that God look on Cain’s offering favorably- only that He wasn’t happy with it. And Cain’s response was one of anger and sulking. And God asked Cain, why are you angry and downcast? God is checking the attitude of Cain- and possibly it was his attitude towards giving his tithe- that was the real problem in the first place. God always looks at the heart- when we give with a bad attitude or are jealous of others- God knows.

God can’t fully bless disobedient people. It’s like when I ask someone to do something- my own child or even my spouse; if the response is groaning and anger, I’ll just blow it off and do it myself. I’d rather work alone than with someone complaining the entire time. The same goes with someone giving excuses for why they made the decision they did; especially if they blame someone else. It is so easy to justify our sinful actions, or our choices to disobey God and His word.

Negative Attitudes cause us to turn away from God. God is not only interested in what we do and don’t do, but also why we do or don’t do. Everything is ignored while our motive is considered, then blessed is the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Defiance is a major bad attitude that needs to be cut out of our lives. This is one that Cain noticeable brought to his relationship with God and with his brother Able. If you can’t stand to be told what to do. If your blood pressure gets high when someone tells you NO. If you see red when someone gives you an order, you might be defiant. Everyone has a natural will to oppose. Everyone wants to be right. We think we have all the answers. Everything would be better if people would listen to us.

Defiance isn’t always open and on display. We might seem perfectly pleasant and agreeable on the outside; while inwardly we plot and scheme to get our own way and do exactly as we please. If you won’t hear advice, won’t accept help, and have all the answers already – you might have a defiant attitude. This sabotages our victory. It undermines our triumph.

Defiance proves immaturity. Like children, defiant people want the center of attention, and want to have all their needs met immediately or else! Defiant people become angry and resentful when others don’t act like they want. Defiant people will blame everyone else for their every problem. Defiant people will spend lots of energy trying to get others to change.

How can we change our stinking thinking? Change our attitude!

• Become aware of needs and deficiencies. “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.” Proverbs 13:18, “Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.

• Commit your will/strength to fix. “Commit yourself to instruction; listen carefully to words of knowledge.” Proverbs 23:12.

• Act against the wrong and for the right! “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly[a] with your God.” Micah 6:8

Do you have an excuse sloshing around in your mind? What lie are you telling yourself today? The Holy Spirit is speaking to again. We all need to become more aware of ourselves – we do this by becoming more aware of the Lord. We allow Him to do what He has already done.

I am not ashamed to admit my faults and failures because I know that God’s Grace is as strong as ever. “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6. You and I can claim victory over sin! His Holy Spirit is at work within us so that we do not have to sin- but to live a new life of victory in Him. Imagine how different chapter 4 would have been if Cain had heeded God’s correction. God told him that sin was crouching at his door- but he didn’t have to give in to it. Cain did not have to kill his brother. Cain could have changed his attitude. Cain could have been victorious.

Jesus, is our example, He took responsibility to the point of dying for the sins of the whole of humanity. He redeemed the relationship between people and God and between people with other people. Jesus’ life reflected all that we can be in Him. Jesus demonstrated the difference the Holy Spirit can do in every life that chooses to follow Him by faith. When He denied himself, paying the price for you and me, He showed us the best way to live life; Jesus showed us that by dying to ourselves is when we truly can live! Are you ready to change your attitude?